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  1. From Non-Usability to Non-Factualism.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Holly Smith has done more than anyone to explore and defend the importance of usability for moral theories. In Making Morality Work, she develops a moral theory that is almost universally usable. But not quite. In this article, I argue that no moral theory is universally usable, in the sense that is most immediately relevant to action, even by agents who know all the normative facts. There is no moral theory knowledge of which suffices to settle deliberation about what to (...)
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  2. Rawlsian Self-Respect.Cynthia Stark - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford, UK: pp. 238-261.
    Critics have argued that Rawls's account of self-respect is equivocal. I show, first, that Rawls in fact relies upon an unambiguous notion of self-respect, though he sometimes is unclear as to whether this notion has merely instrumental or also intrinsic value. I show second that Rawls’s main objective in arguing that justice as fairness supports citizens’ self-respect is not, as many have thought, to show that his principles support citizens’ self-respect generally, but to show that his principles counter the effects (...)
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  3. The Principles and the Presumption of Equality.Stefan Gosepath - 2015 - In Carina Fourie, Fabian Schuppert & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (eds.), Social Equality. On What It Means to Be Equals. Oxford, Vereinigtes Königreich: pp. 167-185.
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  4. Do We Matter in The Cosmos?Nick Hughes - 2017 - Aeon Magazine 2017.
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  5. Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  6. Dignity at the Limit: Jean-Luc Nancy on the Possibility of Incommensurable Worth.Bryan Lueck - 2016 - Continental Philosophy Review 49 (3):309-323.
    Dignity, according to some recent arguments, is a useless concept, giving vague expression to moral intuitions that are better captured by other, better defined concepts. In this paper, I defend the concept of dignity against such skeptical arguments. I begin with a description of the defining features of the Kantian conception of dignity. I then examine one of the strongest arguments against that conception, advanced by Arthur Schopenhauer in On the Basis of Morality. After considering some standard accounts of dignity, (...)
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  7. Is Art Worth More Than the Truth?Leon Surette - 1994 - Journal of Value Inquiry 28 (2):181-192.
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Agent-Relative Value
  1. Moral Difference Between Humans and Robots: Paternalism and Human-Relative Reason.Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-11.
    According to some philosophers, if moral agency is understood in behaviourist terms, robots could become moral agents that are as good as or even better than humans. Given the behaviourist conception, it is natural to think that there is no interesting moral difference between robots and humans in terms of moral agency. However, such moral differences exist: based on Strawson’s account of participant reactive attitude and Scanlon’s relational account of blame, I argue that a distinct kind of reason available to (...)
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  2. Agent-Relative Consequentialism and Collective Self-Defeat.Matthew Hammerton - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (4):472-478.
    Andrew Forcehimes and Luke Semrau argue that agent-relative consequentialism is implausible because in some circumstances it classes an act as impermissible yet holds that the outcome of all agents performing that impermissible act is preferable. I argue that their problem is closely related to Derek Parfit's problem of ‘direct collective self-defeat’ and show how Parfit's plausible solution to his problem can be adapted to solve their problem.
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  3. The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  4. 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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  5. The Saving/Creating Distinction and the Axiology of the Cost–Benefit Approach to Neonatal Medicine.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (8):29-31.
    The aim of this commentary is to discuss the axiology of the cost–benefit approach assumed by Travis Rieder (2017) to analyze medical decision making in the case of extremely preterm infants.
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  6. The Metaphysics of Goodness in the Ethics of Aristotle.Samuel H. Baker - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1839-1856.
    Kraut and other neo-Aristotelians have argued that there is no such thing as absolute goodness. They admit only good in a kind, e.g. a good sculptor, and good for something, e.g. good for fish. What is the view of Aristotle? Mostly limiting myself to the Nicomachean Ethics, I argue that Aristotle is committed to things being absolutely good and also to a metaphysics of absolute goodness where there is a maximally best good that is the cause of the goodness of (...)
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  7. The Pen, the Dress, and the Coat: A Confusion in Goodness.Miles Tucker - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1911-1922.
    Conditionalists say that the value something has as an end—its final value—may be conditional on its extrinsic features. They support this claim by appealing to examples: Kagan points to Abraham Lincoln’s pen, Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen to Lady Diana’s dress, and Korsgaard to a mink coat. They contend that these things may have final value in virtue of their historical or societal roles. These three examples have become familiar: many now merely mention them to establish the conditionalist position. But the widespread (...)
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  8. Wartość życia podmiotowego z perspektywy nauki.Andrzej Elżanowski - 2009 - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria 18 (3 (71)):81-96.
    In the evolution of the vertebrates and probably a few other animals (Metazoa), biological values have been translated (subjectivized) into affective experience that necessarily involves the consciousness of external objects/events (as different from one’s body), which is tantamount to the origins of subjectivity. Mammals, birds and other vertebrates are experiencing subjects even though their negative and positive experience greatly vary in scope. Some mammals are capable of vicarious experience and may act as empathic agents, and some of them, at least (...)
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  9. Impersonal Value, Universal Value, and the Scope of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):999-1027.
    Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
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  10. Resisting Buck-Passing Accounts of Prudential Value.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):77-91.
    This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...)
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Moral Worth
  1. Moral Worth and Knowing How to Respond to Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    It’s one thing to do the right thing. It’s another to be creditable for doing the right thing. Being creditable for doing the right thing requires that one does the right thing out of a morally laudable motive and that there is a non-accidental fit between those two elements. This paper argues that the two main views of morally creditable action – the Right Making Features View and the Rightness Itself View – fail to capture that non-accidentality constraint: the first (...)
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  2. Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what‘s right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that ‘what‘s right‘ combines in only two ways with ‘desire‘, leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor (1979/2014), which has gone wholly unacknowledged by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...)
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  3. Beyond Bad Beliefs.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Philosophers have recently come to focus on explaining the phenomenon of ​bad beliefs,​ beliefs that are apparently true and well-evidenced but nevertheless objectionable. Despite this recent focus, a consensus is already forming around a particular explanation of these beliefs’ badness called ​moral encroachment​, according to which, roughly, the moral stakes engendered by bad beliefs make them particularly difficult to justify. This paper advances an alternative account not just of bad beliefs but of bad attitudes more generally according to which bad (...)
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  4. Moral Worth and Our Ultimate Moral Concerns.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    Some right acts have what philosophers call moral worth. A right act has moral worth if and only if its agent deserves credit for having acted rightly in this instance. And I argue that an agent deserves credit for having acted rightly if and only if her act issues from an appropriate set of concerns, where the appropriateness of these concerns is a function what her ultimate moral concerns should be. Two important upshots of the resulting account of moral worth (...)
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  5. The Goals of Moral Worth.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    While it is tempting to suppose that an act has moral worth just when and because it is motivated by sufficient moral reasons, philosophers have, largely, come to doubt this analysis. Doubt is rooted in two claims. The first is that some facts can motivate a given act in multiple ways, not all of which are consistent with moral worth. The second is the orthodox view that normative reasons are facts. I defend the tempting analysis by proposing and defending a (...)
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  6. On Progress: The Role of Race in Kant’s Philosophy of History.Elvira Basevich - forthcoming - In Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress ‘The Court of Reason’. Boston: Walter de Gruyter.
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  7. Moral Worth, Credit, and Non-Accidentality.Keshav Singh - 2020 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 10. Oxford University Press.
    This paper defends an account of moral worth. Moral worth is a status that some, but not all, morally right actions have. Unlike with merely right actions, when an agent performs a morally worthy action, she is necessarily creditworthy for doing the right thing. First, I argue that two dominant views of moral worth have been unable to fully capture this necessary connection. On one view, an action is morally worthy if and only if its agent is motivated by the (...)
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  8. One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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  9. The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  10. Moral Offsetting.Thomas Foerster - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):617-635.
    This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. (...)
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  11. Moral Worth Requires a Fundamental Concern for What Ultimately Matters.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    An act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. On one of the two leading accounts of moral worth, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the fact that it’s obligatory. On the other, an act that accords with duty has moral worth (...)
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  12. From an Axiological Standpoint.Miles Tucker - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):131-138.
    I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of final (...)
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  13. Testimonial Worth.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2391-2411.
    This paper introduces and argues for the hypothesis that judgments of testimonial worth are central to our practice of normatively appraising speech. It is argued that judgments of testimonial worth are central both to the judgement that an agent has lied, and to the acceptance of testimony. The hypothesis that, in lying, an agent necessarily displays poor testimonial worth, is shown to resolve a new puzzle about lying, and the recalcitrant problem raised by the existence of bald faced lies, and (...)
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  14. Sosa on Epistemic Value: A Kantian Obstacle.Matthew McGrath - 2018 - Synthese (12):5287-5300.
    In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully (...)
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  15. Profound Intellectual Disability and the Bestowment View of Moral Status.Simo Vehmas & Benjamin Curtis - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (3):505-516.
    This article engages with debates concerning the moral worth of human beings with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMDs). Some argue that those with such disabilities are morally less valuable than so-called normal human beings, whereas others argue that all human beings have equal moral value and so each group of humans ought to be treated with equal concern. We will argue in favor of a reconciliatory view that takes points from opposing camps in the debates about the moral worth (...)
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  16. Creditworthiness and Matching Principles.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol 7. Oxford University Press.
    You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...)
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  17. Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  18. Wartość życia podmiotowego z perspektywy nauki.Andrzej Elżanowski - 2009 - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria 18 (3 (71)):81-96.
    In the evolution of the vertebrates and probably a few other animals (Metazoa), biological values have been translated (subjectivized) into affective experience that necessarily involves the consciousness of external objects/events (as different from one’s body), which is tantamount to the origins of subjectivity. Mammals, birds and other vertebrates are experiencing subjects even though their negative and positive experience greatly vary in scope. Some mammals are capable of vicarious experience and may act as empathic agents, and some of them, at least (...)
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  19. Supererogation, Inside and Out: Toward an Adequate Scheme for Common Sense Morality.Paul McNamara - 2011 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume I. Oxford University Press. pp. 202-235.
    The standard analysis of supererogation is that of optional actions that are praiseworthy to perform, but not blameworthy to skip. Widespread assumptions are that action beyond the call is at least necessarily equivalent to supererogation ("The Equivalence") and that forgoing certain agent-favoring prerogatives entails supererogation (“The Corollary”). I argue that the classical conception of supererogation is not reconcilable with the Equivalence or the Corollary, and that the classical analysis of supererogation is seriously defective. I sketch an enriched conceptual scheme, “Doing (...)
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  20. The Ethical Patiency of Cultural Heritage.R. F. J. Seddon - 2011 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Current treatments of cultural heritage as an object of moral concern (whether it be the heritage of mankind or of some particular group of people) have tended to treat it as a means to ensure human wellbeing: either as ‘cultural property’ or ‘cultural patrimony’, suggesting concomitant rights of possession and exclusion, or otherwise as something which, gaining its ethical significance from the roles it plays in people’s lives and the formation of their identities, is the beneficiary at most of indirect (...)
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  21. Achieving Moral Progress Despite Moral Regress.Ben Dixon - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:157-172.
    Moral progress and some of the conditions under which groups can make it is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I address a problem arising from the use of pluralistic criteria for determining moral progress. Pluralistic criteria can allow for judgments that moral progress has taken place where there is causally related moral regression. Indeed, an otherwise well-argued pluralistic theory put forward by Michelle Moody-Adams allows for such conflicting judgments. I argue, however, that the way in which Moody-Adams handles (...)
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  22. Addressing the 'Global Basic Structure' in the Ethics of International Health Research Involving Human Subjects.Janet Borgerson - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30 (9999):235-249.
    The context of international health research involving human subjects, and this should appear obvious, is the human community. As such, basic questions of how human beings should be treated by other human beings, particularly in situations of unequal power – e.g., in the form of control, choice, or opportunity – lay at the foundations of related ethical discourse when ethics are discussed at all. I trace a narrative that follows upon a recent revision process of international guidelines for biomedical research (...)
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  23. (Inter) Subjective-Situated Moral Ought: Zahavi’s Reconstruction of Husserl’s Metaphysics of Intersubjectivity and its Ethical Implications.Mark Anthony Dacela - manuscript
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  24. DNA, Masterpieces, and Abortion: Shifting the Grounds of the Debate.Reed Richter - manuscript
    Writers, philosophers, and theologians have oft made the comparison between being a mature human being and a masterpiece work of art or design. Employing the analogy between the creation of artistic value and the creation of full-fledged human value, this paper stakes out a middle ground between pro-choice and pro-life by considering a more general account of value and the relationship between being a potential X and a mature implementation of X's potential. I argue that the value of a potential (...)
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Neutral Value
  1. A Problem for Frankfurt Examples.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2021 - Southwest Philosophy Review 37 (1):159-167.
    In this paper I intend to raise a problem for so-called Frankfurt examples. I begin by describing the examples and what they are used for. Then I describe the problem.
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  2. Is Consciousness Intrinsically Valuable?Andrew Y. Lee - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):1–17.
    Is consciousness intrinsically valuable? Some theorists favor the positive view, according to which consciousness itself accrues intrinsic value, independent of the particular kind of experience instantiated. In contrast, I favor the neutral view, according to which consciousness is neither intrinsically valuable nor disvaluable. The primary purpose of this paper is to clarify what is at stake when we ask whether consciousness is intrinsically valuable, to carve out the theoretical space, and to evaluate the question rigorously. Along the way, I also (...)
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  3. The Saving/Creating Distinction and the Axiology of the Cost–Benefit Approach to Neonatal Medicine.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (8):29-31.
    The aim of this commentary is to discuss the axiology of the cost–benefit approach assumed by Travis Rieder (2017) to analyze medical decision making in the case of extremely preterm infants.
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  4. Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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  5. Impersonal Value, Universal Value, and the Scope of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):999-1027.
    Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
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  6. The Locative Analysis of Good For Formulated and Defended.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (JESP) 6 (1):1-27.
    THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...)
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The Good
  1. Completeness, Self-Sufficiency, and Intimacy in Seneca’s Account of Friendship.Carissa Phillips-Garrett - 2021 - Ancient Philosophy Today 3 (2):200-221.
    Examining Seneca’s account of friendship produces an interpretative puzzle: if the good of the Stoic sage is already both complete and self-sufficient, how can friendship be a good? I reject the solution that friendship is simply a preferred indifferent instead of a good and argue that though Seneca’s account can consistently explain both why friendship’s nature as a good does not threaten the completeness or the self-sufficiency of the sage, Stoic friends must choose between intimate friendships that leave them vulnerable (...)
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  2. A Platonic Kind-Based Account of Goodness.Berman Chan - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1369-1389.
    Robert Adams defends a platonic account of goodness, understood as excellence, claiming that there exists a platonic good that all other good things must resemble, identifying the Good with God. Mark Murphy agrees, but argues that this platonic account is in need of Aristotelian supplementation, as resemblance must take into account a thing’s kind-membership. While this article will accept something like Murphy’s account of goodness, it will further develop its details and support. Without relying on theistic premises, I show that (...)
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  3. An Ebola-Like Microbe and The Limits of Kind-Based Goodness.Berman Chan - 2021 - Philosophia:1-21.
    Aristotelian theory, as found in Michael Thompson and Philippa Foot, claims that to be good is to be good as a member of that kind, and so there are varying standards of goodness dependent on an individual’s kind-membership. It is a perhaps little noticed feature of Foot’s project, in particular, that it aims to provide more than just a kind-relative account, but seeks an exhaustive account of goodness. She concludes, in effect, that goodness admits of only the kind-based sort. Accordingly, (...)
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