Moral Psychology

Edited by Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Moral Psychology

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  1. Environmental Heritage and the Ruins of the Future.Erich Hatala Matthes - forthcoming - In Carolyn Korsmeyer, Jeanette Bicknell & Jennifer Judkins (eds.), Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials: Philosophical Perspectives on Artifact and Memory. Routledge.
    We now have good reason to worry that many coastal cities will be flooded by the end of the century. How should we confront this possibility (or inevitability)? What attitudes should we adopt to impending inundation of such magnitude? In the case of place-loss due to anthropogenic climate change, I argue that there may ultimately be something fitting about letting go, both thinking prospectively, when the likelihood of preservation is bleak, and retrospectively, when we reflect on our inability to prevent (...)
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  2. Mindfulness and the Psychology of Ethical Dogmatism.Josef Mattes - 2018 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 28:233-269.
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  3. Moral Advance and Moral Risk -- A Mengzian Reflection.L. K. Gustin Law - forthcoming - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy.
    Someone not yet virtuous can reliably progress by engaging in what meaningfully resembles full-fledged virtuous conduct, on one view of moral development. However, one may also morally degrade from such an attempt precisely because of how one's character still falls short of virtue. This risk of degradation casts doubt on the developmental view. I counter the doubt by refining the developmental view through interpretation and application of the Mengzi. In passage 2A2, invoking the image of a farmer who “helped” the (...)
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  4. Rawls y el pricipio aristótelico. Una aproximación a la idea de bien en A Theory of Justice.Pablo Aguayo Westwood - 2014 - Ideas Y Valores 156 (LVIII):129-143.
    Con la finalidad de fundamentar y reforzar su teoría de los bienes primarios, J. Rawls introduce, en el §65 de Una teoría de la justicia, la idea de “principio aristotélico”. Se discuten las dificultades que implica aceptar dicha noción, así como las limitaciones de la idea de bien que subyace en dicho principio. Se busca mostrar que la concepción de bien que Rawls presenta allí padece de “insuficiencia moral” y se defiende la tesis de que su aproximación a la idea (...)
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  5. Social and Political Dimensions of Hope.Katie Stockdale - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    A few years ago, it was common for philosophers to begin inquiry into hope by noting that the subject has received little attention in the philosophical literature. But our ability to make this claim is quickly coming to an end; hope has been earning increasing recognition in the discipline, with philosophers exploring important questions related to the nature of hope, what makes hope rational, and how hope is connected to human wellbeing and agency. Despite this recent interest, however, there remains (...)
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  6. Embodied Akrasia: James on Motivation and Weakness of Will.Kyle Bromhall - 2018 - William James Studies 14 (1):26-53.
    This paper presents an account of akrasia, drawn from the work of William James, that sees akrasia as neither a rational failing (as with most philosophical accounts) nor a moral failing (as with early Christian accounts), but rather a necessary by-product of our status as biological beings. By examining James’s related accounts of motivation and action, I argue that akratic actions occur when an agent attempts to act against her settled habits, but fails to do so. This makes akrasia a (...)
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  7. Pinkerton Short-Circuits the Model Penal Code.Andrew Ingram - forthcoming - Villanova Law Review.
    I show that the Pinkerton rule in conspiracy law is doctrinally and morally flawed. Unlike past critics of the rule, I propose a statutory fix that preserves and reforms it rather than abolishing it entirely. As I will show, this accommodates authors like Neil Katyal who have defended the rule as an important crime fighting tool while also fixing most of the traditional problems with it identified by critics like Wayne LaFave. Pinkerton is a vicarious liability rule that makes conspirators (...)
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  8. A Psicologia de Epicteto.Diogo Luz - 2018 - Polymatheia 11 (18):90-112.
    Resumo: O presente artigo aborda a dimensão psicológica da filosofia de Epicteto. Para tal, exploramos inicialmente a distinção epictetiana entre as coisas que dependem de nós e as que não dependem, visto que é por meio dela que o filósofo separa o que é interno do que é externo. Ao fazer isso, ele foca a abordagem ética naquilo que é interno, pois afirma que é isso que depende de nós (ἐφ ̓ ἡμῖν). Dentre as ações que são ἐφ ̓ ἡμῖν, (...)
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  9. Extended Agency and the Problem of Diachronic Autonomy.Julia Nefsky & Sergio Tenenbaum - manuscript
    It seems to be a humdrum fact of human agency that we act on intentions or decisions that we have made at an earlier time. At breakfast, you look at the Taco Hut menu online and decide that later today you’ll have one of their avocado burritos for lunch. You’re at your desk and you hear the church bells ring the noon hour. You get up, walk to Taco Hut, and order the burrito as planned. As mundane as this sort (...)
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  10. Psychopathy, Autism, and Basic Moral Emotions: Evidence for Sentimentalist Constructivism.Erick Ramirez - forthcoming - In Serife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. Bloomsbury.
    Philosophers and psychologists often claim that moral agency is connected with the ability to feel, understand, and deploy moral emotions. In this chapter, I investigate the nature of these emotions and their connection with moral agency. First, I examine the degree to which these emotional capacities are innate and/or ‘basic’ in a philosophically important sense. I examine three senses in which an emotion might be basic: developmental, compositional, and phylogenetic. After considering the evidence for basic emotion, I conclude that emotions (...)
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  11. The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious by Paul Katsafanas. [REVIEW]Richard Elliott - 2016 - Agonist - A Nietzsche Circle Journal 10:92 - 100.
    Review of The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious by Paul Katsafanas.
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  12. The Color and Content of Their Fears: A Short Analysis of Racial Profiling.Myisha Cherry - 2016 - Radical Philosophy Review 19 (3):689-694.
    In response to Zack’s “White Privilege​ and Black Rights”, I consider her account of the hunting schema in light of police violence against black women. I argue that although Zack provides us with a compelling account of racial profiling and police brutality, the emotional aspect she attributes to the hunting schema is too charitable. I then claim that Zack’s hunting schema fails to account for state violence against black women and in doing so she only tells a partial story of (...)
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  13. Owning Our Implicit Attitudes: Responsibility, Resentment, and the Whole Self.Whitaker Wesley - unknown
    Are implicit biases something we can rightly be held responsible for, and if so, how? A variety of social and cognitive psychological studies have documented the existence of wide-ranging implicit biases for over 30 years. These implicit biases can best be described as negative mental attitudes that operate immediately and unconsciously in response to specific stimuli. The first chapter of this thesis surveys the psychological literature, as well as presents findings of real-world experiments into racial biases. I then present the (...)
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  14. Can Moral Realists Deflect Defeat Due to Evolutionary Explanations of Morality?Michael Klenk - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):227-248.
    I address Andrew Moon's recent discussion (2016, this journal) of the question whether third-factor accounts are valid responses to debunking arguments against moral realism. Moon argues that third-factor responses are valid under certain conditions but leaves open whether moral realists can use his interpretation of the third-factor response to defuse the evolutionary debunking challenge. I rebut Moon's claim and answer his question. Moon's third-factor reply is valid only if we accept externalism about epistemic defeaters. However, even if we do, I (...)
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  15. Measuring Moral Development.Michael Klenk - 2017 - de Filosoof 75:21-23.
    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, heightened awareness of ethical issues has sparked increased efforts toward moral education within universities and businesses. In many cases, psychological tests are used to measure whether moral development occurs. As long as we understand moral development as synonymous with moral progress, this may seem like a good sign: it would appear that such tests give us a handle on moral progress. Alas, moral development and moral progress are two very different things. And although (...)
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  16. The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Willpower.Miguel Vadillo - 2017 - Psychological Science:1-8.
    Dual-process theories of higher order cognition (DPTs) have been enjoying much success, particularly since Kahneman’s 2002 Nobel prize address and recent book Thinking, Fast and Slow (2009). Historically, DPTs have attempted to provide a conceptual framework that helps classify and predict differences in patterns of behavior found under some circumstances and not others in a host of reasoning, judgment, and decision-making tasks. As evidence has changed and techniques for examining behavior have moved on, so too have DPTs. Killing two birds (...)
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  17. The Trolley Problem and the Dropping of Atomic Bombs.Masahiro Morioka - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (2):316-337.
    In this paper, the ethical and spiritual aspects of the trolley problem are discussed in connection with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First, I show that the dropping of atomic bombs was a typical example of the events that contained the logic of the trolley problems in their decision-making processes and justifications. Second, I discuss five aspects of “the problem of the trolley problem;” that is to say, “Rarity,” “Inevitability,” “Safety Zone,” “Possibility of Becoming a Victim,” (...)
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  18. Revisiting Folk Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):455-476.
    Moral realists believe that there are objective moral truths. According to one of the most prominent arguments in favour of this view, ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming, and we have therefore prima facie reason to believe that realism is true. Some proponents of this argument have claimed that the hypothesis that ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming is supported by psychological research on folk metaethics. While most recent research has been thought to contradict this claim, four prominent earlier studies (...)
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  19. Moral Reality and the Empirical Sciences.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    Are there objective moral truths, i.e. things that are morally right, wrong, good, or bad independently of what anybody thinks about them? To answer this question more and more scholars have recently turned to evidence from psychology, neuroscience, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary biology. This book investigates this novel scientific approach in a comprehensive, empirically-focused, and partly meta-theoretical way. It suggests that while it is possible for the empirical sciences to contribute to the moral realism/anti-realism debate, most arguments that have so (...)
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  20. Can the Empirical Sciences Contribute to the Moral Realism/Anti-Realism Debate?Thomas Pölzler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    An increasing number of moral realists and anti-realists have recently attempted to support their views by appeal to science. Arguments of this kind (such as evolutionary debunking arguments or arguments from moral disagreement) are typically criticized on the object-level. In addition, however, one occasionally also comes across a more sweeping meta-theoretical skepticism. Scientific contributions to the question of the existence of objective moral truths, it is claimed, are impossible in principle; most prominently, because (1) such arguments impermissibly derive normative from (...)
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  21. Practices as ‘Actual’ Sources of Goodness of Actions.Arto Laitinen - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche (Supplementary Volume):55-68.
    Chapters Ten and Eleven in Michael Thompson’s Life and Action discuss practices and dispositions as sources of individual actions, and as sources of the goodness of the individual actions. In the essay, I will first discuss the nature of actuality, then the distinction between acting on a first-order consideration and a second-order consideration, and the possibly related distinction between expressing a practice and merely simulating it, and then I turn to varieties of goodness.
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  22. Do Rights Exist by Convention or by Nature?Katharina Nieswandt - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):313-325.
    I argue that all rights exist by convention. According to my definition, a right exists by convention just in case its justification appeals to the rules of a socially shared pattern of acting. I show that our usual justifications for rights are circular, that a right fulfills my criterion if all possible justifications for it are circular, and that all existing philosophical justifications for rights are circular or fail. We find three non-circular alternatives in the literature, viz. justifications of rights (...)
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  23. Naturalism, Minimalism, and the Scope of Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology.Paul Katsafanas - 2016 - In Kristin Gjesdal (ed.), Debates in Nineteenth-Century European Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 326-338.
    Bernard Williams’ “Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology”, replete with provocative and insightful claims, has been extremely influential in Nietzsche scholarship. In the two decades since its publication, much of the most interesting and philosophically sophisticated work on Nietzsche has focused on exactly the topics that Williams addresses: Nietzsche’s moral psychology, his account of action, his naturalistic commitments, and the way in which these topics interact with his critique of traditional morality. While Williams’ pronouncements on these topics are brief and at times (...)
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  24. Nietzsche's Account of Self-Conscious Agency.Paul Katsafanas - forthcoming - In Constantine Sandis (ed.), Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Anscombe. Oxford University Press.
    An overview of Nietzsche's philosophy of action.
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  25. Childhood and Personhood.Tamar Schapiro - 2003 - Arizona Law Review 575 45:575-594.
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  26. Moral Faith and Moral Reason.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2015 - In Sophie-Grace Chappell (ed.), Intuition, Theory, Anti-Theory in Ethics. pp. 76-103.
    Robert Adams argues that often our moral commitment outstrips what we are epistemically entitled to believe; in these cases, the virtuous agent doxastic states are instances of “moral faith”. I argue against Adams’ views on the need for moral faith; at least in some cases, our moral “intuitions” provide us with certain moral knowledge. The appearance that there can be no certainty here is the result of dubious views about second-order or indirect doubts. Nonetheless, discussing the phenomena that lead Adams (...)
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  27. La responsabilité et les limites du mal. Variations sur un thème de Strawson.Gary Watson - 2012 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 7 (1):146-178.
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  28. Practical Reason and the Unity of Agency.Michael Garnett - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):449-468.
    This is a critical review essay of Christine Korsgaard's Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity (OUP 2009).
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  29. Axiomatizing Umwelt Normativity.Marc Champagne - 2011 - Sign Systems Studies 39 (1):9-59.
    Prompted by the thesis that an organism’s umwelt possesses not just a descriptive dimension, but a normative one as well, some have sought to annex semiotics with ethics. Yet the pronouncements made in this vein have consisted mainly in rehearsing accepted moral intuitions, and have failed to concretely further our knowledge of why or how a creature comes to order objects in its environment in accordance with axiological charges of value or disvalue. For want of a more explicit account, theorists (...)
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  30. Smith on Moral Sentiment and Moral Luck.Paul Russell - 1999 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (1):37 - 58.
    Smith's views on moral luck have attracted little attention in the relevant contemporary literature on this subject.* More surprising, perhaps, the material in the secondary literature directly concerned with Smith's moral philosophy is rather thin on this aspect of his thought. In this paper my particular concern is to provide an interpretation and critical assessment of Smith on moral luck. I begin with a description of the basic features of Smith's position; then I criticize two particularly important claims that are (...)
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  31. The Guise of the Good.J. David Velleman - 1992 - Noûs 26 (1):3 - 26.
    The agent portrayed in much philosophy of action is, let's face it, a square. He does nothing intentionally unless he regards it or its consequences as desirable. The reason is that he acts intentionally only when he acts out of a desire for some anticipated outcome; and in desiring that outcome, he must regard it as having some value. All of his intentional actions are therefore directed at outcomes regarded sub specie boni: under the guise of the good. This agent (...)
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  32. The Voice of Conscience.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):57–76.
    I reconstruct Kant's derivation of the Categorical Imperative (CI) as an argument that deduces what the voice of conscience must say from how it must sound - that is, from the authority that is metaphorically attributed to conscience in the form of a resounding voice. The idea of imagining the CI as the voice of conscience comes from Freud; and the present reconstruction is part of a larger project that aims to reconcile Kant's moral psychology with Freud's theory of moral (...)
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Ethics and Cognitive Science
  1. Negligence: It's Moral Significance.Santiago Amaya - forthcoming - In Manuel Vargas & John M. Doris (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology.
    This is a draft of my chapter on Negligence for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook in Moral Psychology. It discusses philosophical, psychological, and legal approaches to the attribution of culpability in cases of negligent wrongdoing.
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  2. Cognición Moral.Santiago Amaya - forthcoming - In Introducción a la filosofía de las ciencias cognitiva.
    Este artículo está escrito para una colección de ensayos introductorios sobre filosofía de las ciencias cognitivas. Es una revisión (selectiva) de la literatura sobre la psicología del juicio moral.
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  3. Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement Should Be Covert.Parker Crutchfield - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (1):112-121.
    Some theorists argue that moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory. I take this argument one step further, arguing that if moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory, then its administration ought to be covert rather than overt. This is to say that it is morally preferable for compulsory moral bioenhancement to be administered without the recipients knowing that they are receiving the enhancement. My argument for this is that if moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory, then its administration is a matter (...)
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  4. Une théorie morale peut-elle être cognitivement trop exigeante?Nicolas Delon - 2015 - Implications Philosophiques.
    Starting from the typical case of utilitarianism, I distinguish three ways a moral theory may be deemed (over-)demanding: practical, epistemic, and cognitive. I focus on the latter, whose specific nature has been overlooked. Taking animal ethics as a case study, I argue that knowledge of human cognition is critical to spelling out moral theories (including their implications) that are accessible and acceptable to the greatest number of agents. In a nutshell: knowing more about our cognitive apparatus with a view to (...)
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  5. Atheism and Agatheism in the Global Ethical Discourse: Reply to Millican and Thornhill-Miller.Janusz Salamon - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (4):197--245.
    The paper enunciates a new pluralistic interpretation of first-order religious belief capable of accommodating the epistemological challenge of religious diversity and also immune to falsification by any future science, since grounded in the human axiological consciousness. Such axiologically grounded religious belief is termed ‘agatheism’, since it is stipulated that agatheistic belief identifies God, the Absolute or the ultimate reality religiously conceived with the ultimate good that must be postulated — as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and Kant agree — as the (...)
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  6. 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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  7. Origins of Evolutionary Transitions.Ellen Clarke - 2014 - Journal of Biosciences 39 (2):303-317.
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  8. Adaptivity: From Metabolism to Behavior.Xabier Barandiaran & Alvaro Moreno - 2008 - Adaptive Behavior 16 (5):325-344.
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  9. Situationist Charges Versus Personologist Defenses and the Issue of Skills.Luc Bovens & Arnold Bohrer - 1989 - In Ronna F. Dillon & James W. Pellegrino (eds.), Testing--Theoretical and Applied Perspectives. New York: Praeger. pp. 199-217.
    We discuss theoretical topics in personality theory and in the methodology of personality measurement, and present personality tests that were developed in the Center for Recruitment and Selection in the Belgian Army.
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  10. Transgressors, Victims, and Cry Babies: Is Basic Moral Judgment Spared in Autism?Alan M. Leslie & Ron Mallon - 2006 - Social Neuroscience 1:270283.
    Human social intelligence comprises a wide range of complex cognitive and affective processes that appear to be selectively impaired in autistic spectrum disorders. The study of these neuro- developmental disorders and the study of canonical social intelligence have advanced rapidly over the last twenty years by investigating the two together. Specifically, studies of autism have provided important insights into the nature of ‘theory of mind’ abilities, their normal development and underlying neural systems. At the same time, the idea of impaired (...)
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Evolution of Morality
  1. Power in Cultural Evolution and the Spread of Prosocial Norms.Nathan Cofnas - 2018 - Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (4):297–318.
    According to cultural evolutionary theory in the tradition of Boyd and Richerson, cultural evolution is driven by individuals' learning biases, natural selection, and random forces. Learning biases lead people to preferentially acquire cultural variants with certain contents or in certain contexts. Natural selection favors individuals or groups with fitness-promoting variants. Durham (1991) argued that Boyd and Richerson's approach is based on a "radical individualism" that fails to recognize that cultural variants are often "imposed" on people regardless of their individual decisions. (...)
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  2. Anarchistami jesteśmy.Michał Marcin Janocha - 2018
    Poniższe analizy są tylko i wyłącznie mojego autorstwa. Nie korzystałem z żadnych komentarzy. To, co odnalazłem, jest jednak całkiem inne niż większość przypuszcza. Z uwagi na cenzurę panującą w katolickich wydawnictwach, w portalach, ten tekst również został opublikowany w internecie, tam, gdzie myśl ludzka ma swobodny przepływ. -/- W niniejszym artykule pragnę podzielić się przemyśleniami dotyczącymi królestwa Jezusa, dokładniej zaś chodzi o część tego stwierdzenia, które obecne jest w teologii od zawsze. Czytamy: „Jest tylko jeden...bez początku: to Bóg, który nigdy (...)
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  3. Against Minimalist Responses to Moral Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moral debunking arguments are meant to show that, by realist lights, moral beliefs are not explained by moral facts, which in turn is meant to show that they lack some significant counterfactual connection to the moral facts (e.g., safety, sensitivity, reliability). The dominant, “minimalist” response to the arguments—sometimes defended under the heading of “third-factors” or “pre-established harmonies”—involves affirming that moral beliefs enjoy the relevant counterfactual connection while granting that these beliefs are not explained by the moral facts. We show that (...)
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  4. Evolution's Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity.John E. Stewart - 2000 - Canberra: The Chapman Press.
    Evolution's Arrow argues that evolution is directional and progressive, and that this has major consequences for humanity. Without resort to teleology, the book demonstrates that evolution moves in the direction of producing cooperative organisations of greater scale and evolvability - evolution has organised molecular processes into cells, cells into organisms, and organisms into societies. The book founds this position on a new theory of the evolution of cooperation. It shows that self-interest at the level of the genes does not prevent (...)
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  5. Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human species. (...)
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  6. Moral Skepticism: An Introduction and Overview.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-31.
    In this introductory chapter, I not only present the essays that make up this volume but also I offer an extensive critical overview of moral skepticism with the hope that it will turn out to be useful particularly to the uninitiated reader. I first provide a taxonomy of varieties of moral skepticism, then discuss the main arguments advanced in their favor, and finally summarize the ten essays here collected, which deal with one or more of those skeptical stances and arguments.
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  7. Sharing Our Normative Worlds: A Theory of Normative Thinking.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2017 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    This thesis focuses on the evolution of human social norm psychology. More precisely, I want to show how the emergence of our distinctive capacity to follow social norms and make social normative judgments is connected to the lineage explanation of our capacity to form shared intentions, and how such capacity is related to a diverse cluster of prototypical moral judgments. I argue that in explaining the evolution of this form of normative cognition we also require an understanding of the developmental (...)
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  8. Aap zoekt zin. Waarom wij bewustzijn, vrije wil, cultuur e religie hebben. ISVW, 2014.Pouwel Slurink - 2014 - Leusden, the Netherlands: ISVW.
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