Moral Semantics

Edited by Caleb Perl (Australian Catholic University, University of Colorado, Boulder)
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  1. added 2020-05-22
    Thick Concepts: Where’s Evaluation? 1.Pekka Väyrynen - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:235-70.
    This chapter presents an alternative to the standard view that at least some of the evaluations that the so-called “thick” terms and concepts in ethics may be used to convey belong to their sense or semantic meaning. After introducing the topic and making some methodological remarks, the chapter presents a wide variety of linguistic data that are well explained by the alternative view that at least a very wide range of thick terms and concepts are such that even the evaluations (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-04
    Thickness and Evaluation.Matti Eklund - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (1):89-104.
    This is a review essay devoted to Pekka Väyrynen’s The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty. Väyrynen’s book, concerned with thick terms and thick concepts, argues for a pragmatic view on the evaluativeness associated with these terms and concepts. The essay raises a number of critical questions regarding what Väyrynen’s arguments for his view actually show. It deals with, for example, thick properties, the fact-value distinction, what it is for terms and concepts to be (semantically) evaluative, and whether Väyrynen’s arguments (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-30
    A “Good” Explanation of Five Puzzles About Reasons.Stephen Finlay - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    This paper champions the view (REG) that the concept of a normative reason for an agent S to perform an action A is that of an explanation why it would be good (in some way, to some degree) for S to do A. REG has numerous virtues, but faces some significant challenges which prompt many philosophers to be skeptical that it can correctly account for all our reasons. I demonstrate how five different puzzles about normative reasons can be solved by (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-28
    Stoic Virtue: A Contemporary Interpretation.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    The Stoic understanding of virtue is often taken to be a non-starter. Many of the Stoic claims about virtue – that a virtue requires moral perfection and that all who are not fully virtuous are vicious – are thought to be completely out of step with our commonsense notion of virtue, making the Stoic account more of an historical oddity than a seriously defended view. Despite many voices to the contrary, I will argue that there is a way of making (...)
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  5. added 2020-04-28
    The Demandingness of Virtue.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    How demanding is the virtuous life? Can virtue exist alongside hints of vice? Is it possible to be virtuous within a vicious society? A line of thinking running through Diogenes and the Stoics is that even a hint of corruption is inimical to virtue, that participating in a vicious society makes it impossible for a person to be virtuous. One response to this difficulty is to claim that virtue is a threshold concept, that context sets a threshold for what is (...)
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  6. added 2020-04-02
    Are Moral Judgements Semantically Uniform? A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Cognitivism - Non-Cognitivism Debate.Benjamin De Mesel - 2015 - In Benjamin De Mesel & Oskari Kuusela (eds.), Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein. New York: Routledge. pp. 126-148.
    Cognitivists and non-cognitivists in contemporary meta-ethics tend to assume that moral judgments are semantically uniform. That is, they share the assumption that either all moral judgments express beliefs, or they all express non-beliefs. But what if some moral judgments express beliefs and others do not? Then moral judgments are not semantically uniform and the question “Cognitivist or non-cognitivist?” poses a false dilemma. I will question the assumption that moral judgments are semantically uniform. First, I will explain what I mean by (...)
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  7. added 2020-03-13
    Thick Evaluation, by Simon Kirchin. [REVIEW]Brent G. Kyle - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):954-962.
    Thick Evaluation, by KirchinSimon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xi + 198.
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  8. added 2019-11-05
    "Ought" and Error.Christine Tiefensee - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (2):96-114.
    The moral error theory generally does not receive good press in metaethics. This paper adds to the bad news. In contrast to other critics, though, I do not attack error theorists’ characteristic thesis that no moral assertion is ever true. Instead, I develop a new counter-argument which questions error theorists’ ability to defend their claim that moral utterances are meaningful assertions. More precisely: Moral error theorists lack a convincing account of the meaning of deontic moral assertions, or so I will (...)
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  9. added 2019-11-05
    Relaxing About Moral Truths.Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    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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  10. added 2019-10-09
    Частково фразеологізовані речення з відношеннями зумовленості.Mariya Lychuk - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:201-209.
    У статті досліджено частково фразеологізовані речення з семантикою зумовленості, описано засоби зв’язку між їхніми частинами. Схарактеризовано семантико-структурні різновиди двох підтипів частково фразеологізованих речень із відношеннями зумовленості. Простежено специфіку вираження дії в пре- і постпозитивних частинах цих речень, описано специфіку додаткової семантики, що нашаровується на основне значення.
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  11. added 2019-10-08
    Лінгвальне віддзеркалення оцінного ставлення до опонента в контексті перейменувальної кампанії.Olha Kyryliuk - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:29-35.
    У статті йдеться про особливості мовного віддзеркалення взаємного ставлення учасників дискусії в умовах обговорення суспільно-політичної ситуації. У ході аналізу окреслено основні психологічні прийоми маніпуляцій суспільною думкою за допомогою мовних одиниць. Встановлено екстра- та інтралінгвальні чинники, що впливають на вибір того чи того номінатива.
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  12. added 2019-09-22
    Non-Descriptive Relativism: Adding Options to the Expressivist Marketplace.Matthew Bedke - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:48-70.
    This chapter identifies a novel family of metaethical theories that are non-descriptive and that aim to explain the action-guiding qualities of normative thought and language. The general strategy is to consider different relations language might bear to a given content, where we locate descriptivity (or lack of it) in these relations, rather than locating it in a theory that begins with the expression of states of mind, or locating it in a special kind of content that is not way-things-might-be content. (...)
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  13. added 2019-09-12
    Reply to Critics.Matti Eklund - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-27.
    Reply to Stephanie Leary’s, Kris McDaniel’s, Tristram McPherson’s and David Plunkett’s articles on Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP, 2017) in book symposium in Inquiry.
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  14. added 2019-07-11
    Evaluational Adjectives.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-35.
    This paper demarcates a theoretically interesting class of "evaluational adjectives." This class includes predicates expressing various kinds of normative and epistemic evaluation, such as predicates of personal taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral adjectives, and epistemic adjectives, among others. Evaluational adjectives are distinguished, empirically, in exhibiting phenomena such as discourse-oriented use, felicitous embedding under the attitude verb `find', and sorites-susceptibility in the comparative form. A unified degree-based semantics is developed: What distinguishes evaluational adjectives, semantically, is that they denote context-dependent measure functions ("evaluational (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-18
    Inferential Expressivism and the Negation Problem.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 16.
    We develop a novel solution to the negation version of the Frege-Geach problem by taking up recent insights from the bilateral programme in logic. Bilateralists derive the meaning of negation from a primitive *B-type* inconsistency involving the attitudes of assent and dissent. Some may demand an explanation of this inconsistency in simpler terms, but we argue that bilateralism’s assumptions are no less explanatory than those of *A-type* semantics that only require a single primitive attitude, but must stipulate inconsistency elsewhere. Based (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    Praise, Blame, Obligation, and DWE: Toward a Framework for Classical Supererogation and Kin.Paul McNamara - 2011 - Journal of Applied Logic 9 (2):153-170.
    Continuing prior work by the author, a simple classical system for personal obligation is integrated with a fairly rich system for aretaic (agent-evaluative) appraisal. I then explore various relationships between definable aretaic statuses such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness and deontic statuses such as obligatoriness and impermissibility. I focus on partitions of the normative statuses generated ("normative positions" but without explicit representation of agency). In addition to being able to model and explore fundamental questions in ethical theory about the connection between (...)
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  17. added 2019-06-05
    Metaethical Relativism.Stojanovic Isidora - 2017 - In David Plunkett & Tristram McPherson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 119-134.
    Although relativism may be said to be one of the oldest doctrines in philosophy, dating back to the teachings of Protagoras in the 5th century B.C., when it comes to contemporary philosophy, there is no consensus on what makes a view qualify as "relativist". The problem is particularly accute in metaethics, since most of the views that up to a decade ago were described as “relativist” would be more accurately described as "contextualist" or even “expressivist” in light of the distinctions (...)
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  18. added 2019-06-05
    Chrisman, Matthew. The Meaning of ‘Ought’: Beyond Descriptivism and Expressivism in Metaethics.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 280. $65.00. [REVIEW]Jack Woods - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):272-277.
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  19. added 2019-06-03
    An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...)
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  20. added 2019-04-20
    The Expansion View of Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper proposes a new Separabilist account of thick concepts, called the Expansion View (or EV). According to EV, thick concepts are expanded contents of thin terms. An expanded content is, roughly, the semantic content of a predicate along with modifiers. Although EV is a form of Separabilism, it is distinct from the only kind of Separabilism discussed in the literature, and it has many features that Inseparabilists want from an account of thick concepts. EV can also give non-cognitivists a (...)
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  21. added 2019-04-15
    What Normative Terms Mean and Why It Matters for Ethical Theory.Alex Silk - 2015 - In Mark C. Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 5. pp. 296–325.
    This paper investigates how inquiry into normative language can improve substantive normative theorizing. First I examine two dimensions along which normative language differs: “strength” and “subjectivity.” Next I show how greater sensitivity to these features of the meaning and use of normative language can illuminate debates about three issues in ethics: the coherence of moral dilemmas, the possibility of supererogatory acts, and the connection between making a normative judgment and being motivated to act accordingly. The paper concludes with several brief (...)
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  22. added 2019-03-11
    Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normative Language By Stephen Finlay. [REVIEW]Alex Gregory - 2015 - Analysis 75 (4):687-689.
    A review of Finlay's Confusion of Tongues.
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  23. added 2019-02-25
    One‐Person Moral Twin Earth Cases.Neil Sinhababu - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):16-22.
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  24. added 2019-02-01
    Flexible Contextualism About Deontic Modals: A Puzzle About Information-Sensitivity.J. L. Dowell - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):149-178.
    According to a recent challenge to Kratzer's canonical contextualist semantics for deontic modal expressions, no contextualist view can make sense of cases in which such a modal must be information-sensitive in some way. Here I show how Kratzer's semantics is compatible with readings of the targeted sentences that fit with the data. I then outline a general account of how contexts select parameter values for modal expressions and show, in terms of that account, how the needed, contextualist-friendly readings might plausibly (...)
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  25. added 2019-01-31
    Impassioned Belief, by Michael Ridge: Oxford: Routledge, 2014, Pp. Xii + 264, £30. [REVIEW]Jack Woods - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):199-202.
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  26. added 2018-11-02
    Two Nondescriptivist Views of Normative and Evaluative Statements.Matthew Chrisman - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):405-424.
    The dominant route to nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative language is through the expressivist idea that normative terms have distinctive expressive roles in conveying our attitudes. This paper explores an alternative route based on two ideas. First, a core normative term ‘ought’ is a modal operator; and second, modal operators play a distinctive nonrepresentational role in generating meanings for the statements in which they figure. I argue that this provides for an attractive alternative to expressivist forms of nondescriptivism about (...)
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  27. added 2018-11-02
    Conceptual Role Accounts of Meaning in Metaethics.Matthew Chrisman - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 260-274.
    This paper explains three ways to develop a conceptual role view of meaning in metaethics. First, it suggests that there’s a way to combine inspiration from noncognitivism with a particular form of the conceptual role view to form a noncognitivist view with distinctive advantages over other noncognitivist views. Second, it suggests that there’s also a way to combine a strong commitment to cognitivism with a different form of the conceptual role view to form a version of cognitivism with distinctive advantages (...)
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  28. added 2018-09-30
    Sticky Situations: 'Force' and Quantifier Domains.Matthew Mandelkern & Jonathan Phillips - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 28.
    When do we judge that someone was forced to do what they did? One relatively well-established finding is that subjects tend to judge that agents were not forced to do actions when those actions violate norms. A surprising discovery of Young & Phillips 2011 is that this effect seems to disappear when we frame the relevant ‘force’-claim in the active rather than passive voice ('X forced Y to φ ' vs. 'Y was forced to φ by X'). Young and Phillips (...)
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  29. added 2018-09-20
    Hybrid Dispositionalism and the Law.Teresa Marques - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Dworkin’s famous argument from legal disagreements poses a problem for legal positivism by undermining the idea that the law can be (just) the result of the practice and attitudes of norm-applying officials. In recent work, the chapter author argued that a hybrid contextualist theory paired with a dispositional theory of value—a hybrid dispositionalism, for short—offers the resources to respond to similar disagreement- based arguments in other evaluative and normative domains. This chapter claims that the theory the author advocates can extend (...)
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  30. added 2018-09-04
    ‘Ought’-Contextualism Beyond the Parochial.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3099-3119.
    Despite increasing prominence, ‘ought’-contextualism is regarded with suspicion by most metaethicists. As I’ll argue, however, contextualism is a very weak claim, that every metaethicist can sign up to. The real controversy concerns how contextualism is developed. I then draw an oft-overlooked distinction between “parochial” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are those that the speaker, or others in her environment, subscribe to—and “aspirational” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are the objective standards for the relevant domain. However, I argue that neither view (...)
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  31. added 2018-07-17
    Contextualism, Moral Disagreement, and Proposition Clouds.Jussi Suikkanen - 2019 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 47-69.
    According to contextualist theories in metaethics, when you use a moral term in a context, the context plays an ineliminable part in determining what natural property will be the semantic value of the term. Furthermore, on subjectivist and relativist versions of these views, it is either the speaker's own moral code or her moral community's moral code that constitutes the reference-fixing context. One standard objection to views of this type is that they fail to enable us to disagree in ordinary (...)
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  32. added 2018-04-16
    A Simple Escape From Moral Twin Earth.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):109-118.
    This paper offers a simple response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) objection to Naturalist Moral Realism (NMR). NMR typically relies on an externalist metasemantics such as a causal theory of reference. The MTE objection is that such a theory predicts that terms like ‘good’ and ‘right’ have a different reference in certain twin communities where it’s intuitively clear that the twins are talking about the same thing when using ‘good’. I argue that Boyd’s causal regulation theory, the original target (...)
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  33. added 2018-02-17
    Oraciones normativas y sensibilidad a la evaluación.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2017 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 43 (1):29-47.
    Nuestro lenguaje no solo describe el mundo que nos rodea: muchas expresiones que usamos habitualmente (desde predicados de gusto a expresiones como “interesante” o “divertido”) tienen por función valorar los objetos que constituyen nuestro entorno. Las oraciones que las contienen son sensibles a la evaluación: su valor de verdad depende del estándar evaluativo saliente en contexto y su emisión puede dar lugar a desacuerdos duros. El presente trabajo examina la ex- tensión de esta categoría a oraciones con predicados y verbos (...)
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  34. added 2017-12-22
    Metanormative Theory and the Meaning of Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 395-424.
    Philosophical debate about the meaning of normative terms has long been pulled in two directions by the apparently competing ideas: (i) ‘ought’s do not describe what is actually the case but rather prescribe possible action, thought, or feeling, (ii) all declarative sentences deserve the same general semantic treatment, e.g. in terms of compositionally specified truth conditions. In this paper, I pursue resolution of this tension by rehearsing the case for a relatively standard truth-conditionalist semantics for ‘ought’ conceived as a necessity (...)
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  35. added 2017-11-16
    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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  36. added 2017-11-07
    'Must', 'Ought' and the Structure of Standards.Gunnar Björnsson & Robert Shanklin - 2014 - In Fabrizio Cariani, Davide Grossi, Joke Meheus & Xavier Parent (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. Springer. pp. 33–48.
    This paper concerns the semantic difference between strong and weak neces-sity modals. First we identify a number of explananda: their well-known in-tuitive difference in strength between ‘must’ and ‘ought’ as well as differ-ences in connections to probabilistic considerations and acts of requiring and recommending. Here we argue that important extant analyses of the se-mantic differences, though tailored to account for some of these aspects, fail to account for all. We proceed to suggest that the difference between ’ought’ and ’must’ lies (...)
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  37. added 2017-10-21
    A Taxonomy of Meta-Ethical Theories.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author contends that classifying theories in the field of meta-ethics along a single dimension misses important nuances in each theory. With the increased sophistication and complexity of meta-ethical analyses in the modern era, the traditional cognitivist–non-cognitivist and realist–anti-realist categories no longer function adequately. The author categorizes the various meta-ethical theories along three dimensions. These dimensions focus on the linguistic analysis offered by each theory, its metaphysical commitments and its degree of normative tolerance.
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  38. added 2017-10-21
    Meta-Ethics: An Introduction.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Meta-ethics is the area of philosophy in which thinkers explore the language and nature of moral discourse and its relations to other non-moral areas of life. In this introduction to the discipline written explicitly for novices, Leslie Allan outlines the key questions and areas of analysis in contemporary meta-ethics. In clear, tabular format, he summarizes the core concepts integral to each of the major meta-ethical positions and the strengths of each view. To prompt further thinking and reading, Allan explains briefly (...)
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  39. added 2017-10-17
    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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  40. added 2017-09-21
    Disagreement Lost and Found.Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-205.
    According to content-relativist theories of moral language, different speakers use the same moral sentences to say different things. Content-relativism faces a well-known problem of lost disagreement. Recently, numerous content-relativists (including the author) have proposed to solve this problem by appeal to various kinds of non-content-based, or broadly pragmatic, disagreement. This presents content-relativists with a new problem—of found agreement. Which (if any) of these newly identified kinds of conflict is correctly identified as the lost moral disagreement we were looking for? This (...)
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  41. added 2017-05-01
    Moral Disagreement and Moral Semantics.Justin Khoo & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Noûs:109-143.
    When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories (...)
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  42. added 2017-02-22
    Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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  43. added 2017-01-19
    Empathy as the Moral Sense?Antti Kauppinen - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):867-879.
    In his recent work, Michael Slote argues that empathy is what Hutcheson called 'the moral sense'. The most innovative argument he offers for this claim is that our empathic reactions play a crucial role in fixing the reference of moral terms. I argue that Slote's bold proposal faces all the main problems of analytical naturalism, as well as some of its own. I suggest that empathy may nevertheless play a more modest and indirect role in acquiring moral knowledge.
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  44. added 2017-01-06
    The Semantics of Moral Communication.Richard Brown - 2008 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Adviser: Professor Stefan Baumrin In the first chapter I introduce the distinction between metaethics and normative ethics and argue that metaethics, properly conceived, is a part of cognitive science. For example, the debate between rationalism and sentimentalism can be informed by recent empirical work in psychology and the neurosciences. In the second chapter I argue that the traditional view that one’s theory of semantics determines what one’s theory of justification must be is mistaken. Though it has been the case that (...)
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  45. added 2016-12-21
    Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A term expresses a thick concept if it expresses a specific evaluative concept that is also substantially descriptive. It is a matter of debate how this rough account should be unpacked, but examples can help to convey the basic idea. Thick concepts are often illustrated with virtue concepts like courageous and generous, action concepts like murder and betray, epistemic concepts like dogmatic and wise, and aesthetic concepts like gaudy and brilliant. These concepts seem to be evaluative, unlike purely descriptive concepts (...)
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  46. added 2016-12-08
    Ought, Agents, and Actions.M. Schroeder - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):1-41.
    According to a naïve view sometimes apparent in the writings of moral philosophers, ‘ought’ often expresses a relation between agents and actions – the relation that obtains between an agent and an action when that action is what that agent ought to do. It is not part of this naïve view that ‘ought’ always expresses this relation – on the contrary, adherents of the naïve view are happy to allow that ‘ought’ also has an epistemic sense, on which it means, (...)
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  47. added 2016-10-31
    Non-Cognitivism and the Problem of Moral-Based Epistemic Reasons: A Sympathetic Reply to Cian Dorr.Joseph Long - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-7.
    According to Cian Dorr, non-cognitivism has the implausible implication that arguments like the following are cases of wishful thinking: If lying is wrong, then the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife; lying is wrong; therefore, the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife. Dorr further claims that if non-cognitivism implies that the above argument and similar arguments are cases of wishful thinking, then non-cognitivism remains implausible even if one solves the so-called Frege-Geach problem. Dorr’s claims (...)
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  48. added 2016-09-12
    Review of Michael Ridge Impassioned Belief. [REVIEW]Andrew Alwood - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014.
    A critical review of Michael Ridge's book Impassioned Belief.
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  49. added 2016-08-30
    Cornell Realism, Explanation, and Natural Properties.Luis R. G. Oliveira & Timothy Perrine - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):1021-1038.
    The claim that ordinary ethical discourse is typically true and that ethical facts are typically knowable seems in tension with the claim that ordinary ethical discourse is about features of reality friendly to a scientific worldview. Cornell Realism attempts to dispel this tension by claiming that ordinary ethical discourse is, in fact, discourse about the same kinds of things that scientific discourse is about: natural properties. We offer two novel arguments in reply. First, we identify a key assumption that we (...)
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  50. added 2016-08-08
    In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. Despite these (...)
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