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Ethical Judgment and Motivation

In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 308-323 (2017)

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  1. Normative Roles, Conceptual Variance, and Ardent Realism About Normativity.David Plunkett - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):509-534.
    ABSTRACT In Choosing Normative Concepts, Eklund considers a “variance thesis” about our most fundamental normative concepts. This thesis raises the threat of an alarming symmetry between different sets of normative concepts. If this symmetry holds, it would be incompatible with “ardent realism” about normativity. Eklund argues that the ardent realist should appeal to the idea of “referential normativity” in response to this challenge. I argue that, even if Eklund is right in his core arguments on this front, many other important (...)
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  • Ardent Realism Without Referential Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):489-508.
    ABSTRACT This paper addresses a central positive claim in Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts: that a certain kind of metaphysically ambitious realist about normativity – the ardent realist – is committed to the metasemantic idea that the distinctive inferential role of normative concepts suffices to fix the extension of those concepts. I argue first that commitment to this sort of inferential role metasemantic view does nothing to secure ardent realism. I then show how the ardent realist can address Eklund’s leading (...)
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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2016 - Topoi:1-10.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):621-630.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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