Moral Realism

Edited by David Killoren (Australian Catholic University)
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  1. My Life Gives the Moral Landscape its Relief.Marc Champagne - 2023 - In Sam Harris: Critical Responses. Carus Books. pp. 17–38.
    Sam Harris (2010) argues that, given our neurology, we can experience well-being, and that seeking to maximize this state lets us distinguish the good from the bad. He takes our ability to compare degrees of well-being as his starting point, but I think that the analysis can be pushed further, since there is a (non-religious) reason why well-being is desirable, namely the finite life of an individual organism. It is because death is a constant possibility that things can be assessed (...)
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  2. Murdoch's Ontological Argument.Cathy Mason & Matt Dougherty - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Anselm’s ontological argument is an argument for the existence of God. This paper presents Iris Murdoch’s ontological argument for the existence of the Good. It discusses her interpretation of Anselm’s argument, her own distinctive appropriation of it, as well as some of the merits of her version of the argument. In doing so, it also shows how the argument integrates some key Murdochian ideas: morality’s wide scope, the basicness of vision to morality, moral realism, and Platonism.
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  3. Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense.Eric Sampson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean arguments can be used against nihilists in ethics (...)
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  4. Naturalistic Moral Realism and Evolutionary Biology.Paul Bloomfield - 2021 - Philosophies 7 (2):2.
    Perhaps the most familiar understanding of “naturalism” derives from Quine, understanding it as a continuity of empirical theories of the world as described through the scientific method. So, it might be surprising that one of the most important naturalistic moral realists, Philippa Foot, rejects standard evolutionary biology in her justly lauded _Natural Goodness_. One of her main reasons for this is the true claim that humans can flourish without reproducing, which she claims cannot be squared with evolutionary theory and biology (...)
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  5. Considering Dispositional Moral Realism.Prabhpal Singh - 2022 - In Francis Fallon (ed.), Insights into Ethical Theory and Practice: Principia Eclectica. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 32-49.
    An updated reprint of Singh, Prabhpal. 2018. "Considering Dispositional Moral Realism". Perspectives: An International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 8(1): 14-22.
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  6. Moral Realism, Quasi‐Realism and Moral Steadfastness.James Chamberlain - 2022 - Ratio 35 (1):1-12.
    Some moral propositions are so obviously true that we refuse to doubt them, even where we believe that many people disagree. Following Fritz and McPherson, I call our behaviour in such cases ‘moral steadfastness’. In this paper, I argue for two metaethical implications of moral steadfastness. I first argue that morally steadfast behaviour is sufficiently prevalent to present an important challenge for some prominent analogies between moral epistemology and non-moral forms of epistemology. These analogies are often pressed by moral realists. (...)
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  7. The Epistemology of Evolutionary Debunking.Justis Koon - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12155-12176.
    Fifteen years ago, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce advanced evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism, which purported to show that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes moral realism untenable. These arguments have since given rise to a flurry of objections; the epistemic principles Street and Joyce relied upon, in particular, have come in for a number of serious challenges. My goal in this paper is to develop a new account of evolutionary debunking which avoids the pitfalls Street and (...)
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  8. Von der Möglichkeit des moralischen Subjektivismus. Eine Untersuchung zum Einstellungscharakter von Moral und Religion.Michael Oliva Córdoba - 2021 - Methodus 10 (1):3-31.
    Moral subjectivism is commonly associated with out-of-favour theories like, e.g., Alfred Ayer’s emotivism or John Mackie’s error theory. This paper approaches the field against the background of the attitudinal character of morality and religion. The possibility of a brand of moral subjectivism is established which is common to Ayer’s and Mackie’s theories in name only yet still has significant merits. The perspective from action theory and the philosophy of mind suggests that the problem of moral obligation, central to moral philosophy, (...)
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  9. Moral Realism in Spinoza's Ethics.Colin Marshall - 2017 - In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), The Cambridge Critical Guide to Spinoza's Ethics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 248-65.
    I argue that Spinoza is more of a moral realist than an anti-realist. More specifically, I argue that Spinoza is more of a realist than Kant, and that his view has deep similarities with Plato's metaethics. Along the way, I identify three approaches to the moral realism/anti-realism distinction. Classifying Spinoza as a moral realist brings out a number of important complexities that have been overlooked by many of Spinoza's readers and by many contemporary metaethicists.
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  10. Iris Murdoch: Moral Vision.Anil Gomes - forthcoming - In Mark Hopwood & Silvia Panizza (eds.), The Murdochian Mind. Routledge.
    In the essays which make up The Sovereignty of Good, Iris Murdoch gives us a picture of moral life in which ‘the metaphor of vision [is] almost irresistibly suggested’. This chapter aims to clarify the role played by the metaphor of vision in Murdoch’s philosophical thinking. I’ll examine two different things which might be meant by the term ‘moral vision’: vision of moral things or vision which is itself moral. The suggestion will be that whilst both capture something important about (...)
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  11. Pragmatist Quietism: A Metaethical System.Andrew Sepielli - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    The claim that there are objective ethical truths has attracted its share of doubters. Many have thought that such truths would require an extra-ethical foundation or vindication—in metaphysics, or the philosophy of language, or epistemology—and have worried that no such thing is available. Pragmatist Quietism argues that, on the contrary, there are objective ethical truths, and that these neither require nor admit of a foundation or vindication from outside of ethics. Recognizing that the idea of an ethical realm untethered from (...)
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  12. Strangers to Ourselves: A Nietzschean Challenge to the Badness of Suffering.Nicolas Delon - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Is suffering really bad? The late Derek Parfit argued that we all have reasons to want to avoid future agony and that suffering is in itself bad both for the one who suffers and impersonally. Nietzsche denied that suffering was intrinsically bad and that its value could even be impersonal. This paper has two aims. It argues against what I call ‘Realism about the Value of Suffering’ by drawing from a broadly Nietzschean debunking of our evaluative attitudes, showing that a (...)
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  13. (Draft) The Universe Doesn't Care: Against the Rationalist Defence of Moral Realism.Benjamin Davies - manuscript
    Evolutionary debunking accounts claim that the evolutionary origins of our moral beliefs provide a problem for moral realists because evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs have more plausibility than realist accounts. A certain kind of response, which I term ‘rationalist’ offers a dual response to evolutionary debunking. First, they offer a supposedly plausible account of how we acquire objective moral knowledge through use of our rationality. Second, they claim that certain moral beliefs are not amenable to evolutionary explanation. I argue (...)
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  14. Moral Explanations of Moral Beliefs: Inappropriate to Demand Them?John J. Tilley - 2020 - Theoria 86 (3):293-308.
    A familiar claim, meant as a challenge to moral knowledge, is that we can credibly accept putative moral facts just in case they explain natural facts. This paper critically addresses Elizabeth Tropman’s response to a version of that claim. Her response has interest partly because it falls within, and extends, an influential philosophical tradition – that of trying to expose (some) skeptical challenges as spurious or ill-conceived. Also, Tropman’s target is not just any version of the claim just mentioned. It (...)
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  15. Relaxing About Moral Truths.Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:869-890.
    As with all other moral realists, so-called relaxed moral realists believe that there are moral truths. Unlike metaphysical moral realists, they do not take themselves to be defending a substantively metaphysical position when espousing this view, but to be putting forward a moral thesis from within moral discourse. In this paper, I employ minimalism about truth to examine whether or not there is a semantic analysis of the claim ‘There are moral truths’ which can support this moral interpretation of one (...)
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  16. Ontological-Transcendental Defence of Metanormative Realism.Michael Kowalik - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):573-586.
    If there is something (P) that every possible agent is committed to value, and certain actions or attitudes either enhance or diminish P, then normative claims about a range of intentional actions can be objectively and non-trivially evaluated. I argue that the degree of existence as an agent depends on the consistency of reflexive-relating with other individuals of the agent-kind: the ontological thesis. I then show that in intending to act on a reason, every agent is rationally committed to value (...)
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  17. Metasemantics, Moral Realism and Moral Doctrines.Christine Tiefensee - 2022 - In Visa A. J. Kurki & Mark Mcbride (eds.), Without Trimmings: The Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy of Matthew Kramer. Oxford, Vereinigtes Königreich: Oxford University Press. pp. 189-204.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Matthew Kramer’s moral realism as a moral doctrine and expressivism, understood as a distinctly non-representationalist metasemantic theory of moral vocabulary. More precisely, I will argue that Kramer is right in stating that moral realism as a moral doctrine does not stand in conflict with expressivism. But I will also go further, by submitting that advocates of moral realism as a moral doctrine must adopt theories such as expressivism in some shape or form. (...)
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  18. A Debunking Explanation for Moral Progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3171-3191.
    According to “debunking arguments,” our moral beliefs are explained by evolutionary and cultural processes that do not track objective, mind-independent moral truth. Therefore (the debunkers say) we ought to be skeptics about moral realism. Huemer counters that “moral progress”—the cross-cultural convergence on liberalism—cannot be explained by debunking arguments. According to him, the best explanation for this phenomenon is that people have come to recognize the objective correctness of liberalism. Although Huemer may be the first philosopher to make this explicit empirical (...)
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  19. III—Normative Facts and Reasons.Fabienne Peter - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (1):53-75.
    The main aim of this paper is to identify a type of fact-given warrant for action that is distinct from reason-based justification for action and defend the view that there are two types of practical warrant. The idea that there are two types of warrant is familiar in epistemology, but has not received much attention in debates on practical normativity. On the view that I will defend, normative facts, qua facts, give rise to entitlement warrant for action. But they do (...)
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  20. What’s Wrong with Relaxing?Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (6):725-742.
    In his new book Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer argues that there is no way around the result that all metaethical views other than the error theory either fail for the same reasons as metaphysical normative realism, or for the same reasons as expressivism. In this contribution, I seek to show that this is false: We can eschew this result by ‘relaxing’ about normative truths. Even if Streumer were right about the fate of metaphysical normative realism and expressivism, then, relaxed realists (...)
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  21. Theism and Explanationist Defenses of Moral Realism.Andrew Brenner - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (4):447-463.
    Some moral realists have defended moral realism on the basis of the purported fact that moral facts figure as components in some good explanations of non-moral phenomena. In this paper I explore the relationship between theism and this sort of explanationist defense of moral realism. Theistic explanations often make reference to moral facts, and do so in a manner which is ineliminable in an important respect – remove the moral facts from those explanations, and they suffer as a result. In (...)
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  22. Are All Things Permissible?: A Look at Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors".Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    In this essay I examine the moral message presented in Woody Allen's film, "Crimes and Misdemeanors.".
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  23. Compassionate Moral Realism.Colin Marshall - 2018 - Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
    This book offers a ground-up defense of objective morality, drawing inspiration from a wide range of philosophers, including John Locke, Arthur Schopenhauer, Iris Murdoch, Nel Noddings, and David Lewis. The core claim is compassion is our capacity to perceive other creatures' pains, pleasures, and desires. Non-compassionate people are therefore perceptually lacking, regardless of how much factual knowledge they might have. Marshall argues that people who do have this form of compassion thereby fit a familiar paradigm of moral goodness. His argument (...)
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  24. Access Problems and Explanatory Overkill.Silvia Jonas - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2731-2742.
    I argue that recent attempts to deflect Access Problems for realism about a priori domains such as mathematics, logic, morality, and modality using arguments from evolution result in two kinds of explanatory overkill: the Access Problem is eliminated for contentious domains, and realist belief becomes viciously immune to arguments from dispensability, and to non-rebutting counter-arguments more generally.
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  25. Darwinism in Metaethics: What If the Universal Acid Cannot Be Contained?Eleonora Severini & Fabio Sterpetti - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):1-25.
    The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point is that an epistemic disanalogy (...)
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  26. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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  27. Nietzsche on Taste: Epistemic Privilege and Anti-Realism.Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (1-2):31-65.
    The central aim of this article is to argue that Nietzsche takes his own taste, and those in the relevant sense similar to it, to enjoy a kind of epistemic privilege over their rivals. Section 2 will examine the textual evidence for an anti-realist reading of Nietzsche on taste. Section 3 will then provide an account of taste as an ‘affective evaluative sensibility’, asking whether taste so understood supports an anti-realist reading. I will argue that it does not and that (...)
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  28. Vedānta – Rāmānuja and Madhva: Moral Realism and Freedom Vs. Determinism (Ethics 1, M11).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
    Vedānta has two meanings. The first is the literal sense – “End of Vedas” – and refers to the Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads—the latter part of the Vedas. The second sense of “Vedanta” is a scholastic one, and refers to a philosophical orientation that attempts to explain the cryptic Vedānta Sūtra (Brahma Sūtra) of Bādarāyaṇa, which aims at being a summary of the End of the Vedas. In the previous module, I review the ethics of the End of the Vedas and (...)
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  29. Inferentialist Metaethics, Bifurcations and Ontological Commitment.Christine Tiefensee - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2437-2459.
    According to recent suggestions within the global pragmatism discussion, metaethical debate must be fundamentally re-framed. Instead of carving out metaethical differences in representational terms, it has been argued that metaethics should be given an inferentialist footing. In this paper, I put inferentialist metaethics to the test by subjecting it to the following two criteria for success: Inferentialist metaethicists must be able to save the metaethical differences between moral realism and expressivism, and do so in a way that employs understandings of (...)
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  30. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts (...)
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  31. Review of Erik J. Wielenberg’s “Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism”. [REVIEW]Thomas Pölzler - 2015 - Ethical Perspectives 22 (3):509-513.
    Erik Wielenberg’s new book Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism aims at defending a non-theistic of ‘robust normative realism’: the metaethical view that normative properties exist, and have four features: (1) objectivity, (2) non-naturalness, (3) irreducibility, and (4) causal inertness. In my review I criticize that Wielenberg does not address semantic issues which are crucial both to defending robust normative realism, and to assessing the empirical claims he makes. Moreover, and relatedly, I suggest that Wielenberg’s main (...)
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  32. Moral Realism, Moral Disagreement, and Moral Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):161-190.
    This paper considers John Doris, Stephen Stich, Alexandra Plakias, and colleagues’ recent attempts to utilize empirical studies of cross-cultural variation in moral judgment to support a version of the argument from disagreement against moral realism. Crucially, Doris et al. claim that the moral disagreements highlighted by these studies are not susceptible to the standard ‘diffusing’ explanations realists have developed in response to earlier versions of the argument. I argue that plausible hypotheses about the cognitive processes underlying ordinary moral judgment and (...)
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  33. Realism and the Censure Theory of Punishment.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - In Patricia Smith & Paolo Comanducci (eds.), Legal Philosophy: General Aspects. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 117-29.
    I focus on the metaphysical underpinnings of the censure theory of punishment, according to which punishment is justified if and because it expresses disapproval of injustice. Specifically, I seek to answer the question of what makes claims about proportionate censure true or false. In virtue of what is it the case that one form of censure is stronger than another, or that punishment is the censure fitting injustice? Are these propositions true merely because of social conventions, as per the dominant (...)
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  34. Moral Realism and Arbitrariness.Jason Kawall - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):109-129.
    In this paper I argue (i) that choosing to abide by realist moral norms would be as arbitrary as choosing to abide by the mere preferences of a God (a difficulty akin to the Euthyphro dilemma raised for divine command theorists); in both cases we would lack reason to prefer these standards to alternative codes of conduct. I further develop this general line of thought by arguing in particular (ii) that we would lack any noncircular justification to concern ourselves with (...)
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  35. Against Quietist Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.
    Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than silencing metaphysical questions about (...)
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Moral Cognitivism
  1. Moral Judgment and the Content-Attitude Distinction.Uriah Kriegel - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1135-1152.
    Let cognitivism be the view that moral judgments are cognitive mental states and noncognitivism the view that they are noncognitive mental states. Here I argue for moral judgment pluralism: some moral judgments are cognitive states and some are noncognitive states. More specifically, according to my pluralism some judgments are moral because they carry a moral content (e.g., that genocide is wrong) and some are moral because they employ a moral attitude (e.g., indignation, or guilt); the former are the cognitive moral (...)
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  2. How Should We Interpret Institutional Duty-Claims?Christoffer Lammer-Heindel - 2013 - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies 18 (1):27-34.
    It is rather natural to suppose that what we mean when we say that an institutional organization has a moral duty is parallel to whatever it is that we mean when we say that an individual has a duty. I challenge this interpretation on the grounds that it assumes that institutional organizations possess those characteristics or abilities requisite for moral agency—an assumption which I argue is highly suspicious. Against such an interpretation, I argue that we have very good reasons to (...)
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  3. Normas verdaderas a la luz de la justificación axiológica de las normas.Marek Piechowiak - 2017 - In Germán Sucar & Jorge Cerdio Herrán (eds.), Derecho y verdad. Walencja, Hiszpania: Tirant lo Blanch. pp. Vol. IV, 655-681.
    En la Constitución de la República de Polonia del 2 de abril de 19971 se reconocía el carácter objetivo de ciertos valores y un cognoscitivismo axiológico. Si tomamos las disposiciones constitucionales en serio tenemos que aceptar que algunas valoraciones morales o que algunas proferencias [utterances] valorativas pueden ser verdaderas o falsas y que nos informan acerca de una realidad objetiva. Por otro lado, en la teoría del derecho polaca y en los cursos universitarios de lógica para abogados se encuentran definiciones (...)
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  4. Comments on Diana B. Heney: "Toward a Pragmatist Metaethics". [REVIEW]Cathy Legg - 2018 - Syndicate.
    This poised and articulate volume addresses an area of pragmatist philosophy as yet relatively unexplored in pragmatism's welcome revival. Neopragmatism's preoccupation with changing philosophers' view of the relation between language (or as Rorty puts it: "vocabularies") and reality, has largely focussed their discussions on the 'metaphysics & epistemology', rather than the 'value' side of philosophy, apart from Rorty's brief flirtations with edifying Western political discourse. Yet the nature of truth in ethics has been a topic of keen discussion in recent (...)
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  5. Is Deontic Evaluation Capable of Doing What It is For?Nathaniel Sharadin & Rob Van Someren Greve - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (3).
    Many philosophers think the distinctive function of deontic evaluation is to guide action. This idea is used in arguments for a range of substantive claims. In this paper, we entirely do one completely destructive thing and partly do one not entirely constructive thing. The first thing: we argue that there is an unrecognized gap between the claim that the function of deontic evaluation is to guide action and attempts to put that claim to use. We consider and reject four arguments (...)
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  6. On the Possibility of Wholesale Moral Error.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):236-247.
    The moral error theory, it seems, could be true. The mere possibility of its truth might also seem inconsequential. But it is not. For, I argue, there is a sense in which the moral error theory is possible that generates an argument against both non‐cognitivism and moral naturalism. I argue that it is an epistemic possibility that morality is subject to some form of wholesale error of the kind that would make the moral error theory true. Denying this possibility has (...)
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  7. Kantian Cognitivism.E. Sonny Elizondo - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (4):711-725.
    According to many of its advocates, one of the main attractions of Kantian moral philosophy is its metaethical innocence. The most interesting argument for such innocence appeals to Kantians' rationalism. Roughly, if moral action is simply rational action, then we do not need to appeal to anything beyond rationality to certify moral judgment. I assess this argument by reflecting on (dis)analogies between moral and logical forms of rationalism. I conclude that the Kantian claim to metaethical innocence is overstated. Kantians cannot (...)
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  8. L'etica analitica dalla legge di Hume al principio di Kant.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2004 - In Angelo Campodonico (ed.), Tra legge e virtù. La filosofia pratica angloamericana contemporanea. Genova, Italy: Il melangolo. pp. 9-46.
    I reconstruct a plot in the twentieth-century Anglo-Saxon ethical discussion. I discuss first the reasons why in the first half of the twentieth century the claim of a neutral character of metaethics vis-a-vis normative ethics was generally accepted; then I discuss the reasons for a U-turn that took place in 1958, which brought back to the forefront two traditional schools of normative ethics, Kantian and Utilitarian, and the reasons for criticism from the new school of virtue ethics. I conclude by (...)
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  9. Anscombe on the Mesmeric Force of ‘Ought’ and a Spurious Kind of Moral Realism.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2017 - Etica E Politica 19 (2):51-86.
    I discuss the second of the three theses advanced by Anscombe in ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’. The focus is the nature of entities to which – if Anscombe’s diagnosis is correct – ought and cognate modals are assumed by modern moral philosophers to refer. I reconstruct the alternative account offered by Anscombe of viable and justified ‘Aristotelian’ modals – as contrasted with mysterious and unjustified ‘Kantian’ modals; I discuss the nature and status of ‘Aristotelian necessity’ to which such legitimate modals refer (...)
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  10. Plato’s Conception of Justice and the Question of Human Dignity.Marek Piechowiak - 2019 - Berlin, Niemcy: Peter Lang Academic Publishers.
    This book is the first comprehensive study of Plato’s conception of justice. The universality of human rights and the universality of human dignity, which is recognised as their source, are among the crucial philosophical problems in modern-day legal orders and in contemporary culture in general. If dignity is genuinely universal, then human beings also possessed it in ancient times. Plato not only perceived human dignity, but a recognition of dignity is also visible in his conception of justice, which forms the (...)
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  11. 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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  12. On Parfit’s Ontology.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):707-725.
    Parfit denies that the introduction of reasons into our ontology is costly for his theory. He puts forth two positions to help establish the claim: the Plural Senses View and the Argument from Empty Ontology. I argue that, first, the Plural Senses View for ‘exists’ can be expanded to allow for senses which undermine his ontological claims; second, the Argument from Empty Ontology can be debunked by Platonists. Furthermore, it is difficult to make statements about reasons true unless these statements (...)
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  13. Moral Realism and the Incompletability of Morality.Melis Erdur - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (2):227-237.
    If what we want from moral inquiry were the obtainment of objective moral truths, as moral realism claims it is, then there would be nothing morally unsatisfactory or lacking in a situation, in which we somehow had access to all moral truths, and were fundamentally finished with morality. In fact, that seems to be the realists’ conception of moral heaven. In this essay, however, I argue that some sort of moral wakefulness – that is, always paying attention to the subtleties (...)
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  14. The Intelligibility of Moral Intransigence: A Dilemma for Cognitivism About Moral Judgment.Richard Rowland - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):266-275.
    Many have argued that various features of moral disagreements create problems for cognitivism about moral judgment, but these arguments have been shown to fail. In this paper, I articulate a new problem for cognitivism that derives from features of our responses to moral disagreement. I argue that cognitivism entails that one of the following two claims is false: a mental state is a belief only if it tracks changes in perceived evidence; it is intelligible to make moral judgments that do (...)
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  15. The Challenge of Amoralism.Voin Milevski - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):252-266.
    According to unconditional motivational internalism, there is an a priori constraint on an agent's forming a sincere moral judgement, namely that she is, at least to some minimal extent, motivated to act as it dictates. In order to undermine this internalist position, proponents of motivational externalism typically appeal to the possibility of the amoralist—i.e. an individual who makes sincere moral judgements, but who is completely unmoved to act accordingly. This strategy is known as the challenge of amoralism. Against this strategy, (...)
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