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How Different Kinds of Disagreement Impact Folk Metaethical Judgments

In Jennifer Cole Wright & Hagop Sarkissian (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-187 (2014)

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  1. De Gustibus Est Disputandum: An Empirical Investigation of the Folk Concept of Aesthetic Taste.Bonard Constant Charles, Florian Cova & Steve Humbert-Droz - forthcoming - In Jeremy Wyatt, Julia Zakkou & Dan Zeman (eds.), Perspectives on Taste.
    Past research on folk aesthetics has suggested that most people are subjectivists when it comes to aesthetic judgment. However, most people also make a distinction between good and bad aesthetic taste. To understand the extent to which these two observations conflict with one another, we need a better understanding of people's everyday concept of aesthetic taste. In this paper, we present the results of a study in which participants drawn from a representative sample of the US population were asked whether (...)
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  • Why Metaethics Needs Empirical Moral Psychology.Jeroen Hopster & Michael Klenk - 2020 - Critica 52 (155).
    What is the significance of empirical moral psychology for metaethics? In this article we take up Michael Ruse’s evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and reassess it in the context of the empirical state of the art. Ruse’s argument depends on the phenomenological presumption that people generally experience morality as objective. We demonstrate how recent experimental findings challenge this widely-shared armchair presumption and conclude that Ruse’s argument fails. We situate this finding in the recent debate about Carnapian explication and argue (...)
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  • The Tale of a Moderate Normative Skeptic.Brendan Cline - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):141-161.
    While Richard Joyce’s moral skepticism might seem to be an extreme metaethical view, it is actually far more moderate than it might first appear. By articulating four challenges facing his approach to moral skepticism, I argue that Joyce’s moderation is, in fact, a theoretical liability. First, the fact that Joyce is not skeptical about normativity in general makes it possible to develop close approximations to morality, lending support to moderate moral revisionism over moral error theory. Second, Joyce relies on strong, (...)
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  • Aspects of Folk Morality: Objectivism and Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian - 2016 - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. London, UK: pp. 212-224.
    Most moral philosophers work under the assumption that ordinary folk morality is committed to objectivism—that ordinary folk view morality in absolute terms. This datum serves to constrain and shape philosophical metaethics, since those working in this field feel compelled to make sense of it. In this chapter, I discuss why philosophers take on this commitment. I also outline the relevant experimental research exploring whether, and to what extent, ordinary folk think of morality in absolute terms. Finally, I turn toward a (...)
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  • Folk Platitudes as the Explananda of Philosophical Metaethics: Are They Accurate? And Do They Help or Hinder Inquiry?Hagop Sarkissian - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):565-575.
    The field of metaethics, the branch of moral philosophy that examines the nature and status of morality, is rich in theoretical diversity. Nonetheless, a majority of professional philosophers embrace a subset of theories that affirm the existence of objective moral facts. I suggest that this may be related to the very method that philosophers use to construct metaethical theories. This method involves analyzing how ordinary people think and argue about morality. Analysis of ordinary moral discourse is meant to reveal common (...)
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  • Moral Relativism.Chris Gowans - 2019 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
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  • Revisiting Folk Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):455-476.
    Moral realists believe that there are objective moral truths. According to one of the most prominent arguments in favour of this view, ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming, and we have therefore prima facie reason to believe that realism is true. Some proponents of this argument have claimed that the hypothesis that ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming is supported by psychological research on folk metaethics. While most recent research has been thought to contradict this claim, four prominent earlier studies (...)
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  • How to Measure Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):647-670.
    In recent years an increasing number of psychologists have begun to explore the prevalence, causes and effects of ordinary people’s intuitions about moral realism. Many of these studies have lacked in construct validity, i.e., they have failed to measure moral realism. My aim in this paper accordingly is to motivate and guide methodological improvements. In analysis of prominent existing measures, I develop general recommendations for overcoming ten prima facie serious worries about research on folk moral realism. G1 and G2 require (...)
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  • Two Accounts of Moral Objectivity: From Attitude-Independence to Standpoint-Invariance.Jeroen Hopster - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):763-780.
    How should we understand the notion of moral objectivity? Metaethical positions that vindicate morality’s objective appearance are often associated with moral realism. On a realist construal, moral objectivity is understood in terms of mind-, stance-, or attitude-independence. But realism is not the only game in town for moral objectivists. On an antirealist construal, morality’s objective features are understood in virtue of our attitudes. In this paper I aim to develop this antirealist construal of moral objectivity in further detail, and to (...)
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  • The Significance of Ethical Disagreement for Theories of Ethical Thought and Talk.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 275-291.
    This chapter has two sections, each focusing on a distinct way in which ethical disagreement and variations in ethical judgment matter for theories of ethical thought and talk. In the first section, we look at how the variation poses problems for both cognitivist and non-cognitivist ways of specifying the nature of ethical judgments. In the second, we look at how disagreement phenomena have been taken to undermine cognitivist accounts, but also at how the seeming variation in cognitive and non-cognitive contents (...)
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  • “Moral Objectivism in Cross-Cultural Perspective”.James Beebe, Runya Qiaoan, Tomasz Wysocki & Miguel A. Endara - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4):386-401.
    Moral psychologists have recently turned their attention to the study of folk metaethical beliefs. We report the results of a cross-cultural study using Chinese, Polish and Ecuadorian participants that seeks to advance this line of investigation. Individuals in all three demographic groups were observed to attribute objectivity to ethical statements in very similar patterns. Differences in participants’ strength of opinion about an issue, the level of societal agreement or disagreement about an issue, and participants’ age were found to significantly affect (...)
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  • Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano & Don Loeb - 2014 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology inthe last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the largerexperimental philosophy approach. From the beginning,it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Somedoubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it isphilosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best andconfusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance., Before the research program can be evaluated, we should have someconception of (...)
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  • Absolutely Tasty: An Examination of Predicates of Personal Taste and Faultless Disagreement.Jeremy Wyatt - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):252-280.
    Debates about the semantics and pragmatics of predicates of personal taste have largely centered on contextualist and relativist proposals. In this paper, I argue in favor of an alternative, absolutist analysis of PPT. Theorists such as Max Kölbel and Peter Lasersohn have argued that we should dismiss absolutism due to its inability to accommodate the possibility of faultless disagreement involving PPT. My aim in the paper is to show how the absolutist can in fact accommodate this possibility by drawing on (...)
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  • Do We Really Externalize or Objectivize Moral Demands?Stephen Stich - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Stanford's goal is to explain the uniquely human tendency to externalize or objectify “distinctively moral” demands, norms, and obligations. I maintain that there is no clear phenomenon to explain. Stanford's account of which norms are distinctively moral relies on Turiel's problematic work. Stanford's justification of the claim that we “objectify” moral demands ignores recent studies indicating that often we do not.
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  • Moral Externalization and Normativity: The Errors of Our Ways.P. Kyle Stanford - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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  • Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano, Don Loeb & Alex Plakias - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-32.
    Experimental moral philosophy emerged as a methodology in the last decade of the twentieth century, as a branch of the larger experimental philosophy (X-Phi) approach. Experimental moral philosophy is the empirical study of moral intuitions, judgments, and behaviors. Like other forms of experimental philosophy, it involves gathering data using experimental methods and using these data to substantiate, undermine, or revise philosophical theories. In this case, the theories in question concern the nature of moral reasoning and judgment; the extent and sources (...)
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  • Moral Relativism.Christopher Gowans - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral relativism is an important topic in metaethics. It is also widely discussed outside philosophy (for example, by political and religious leaders), and it is controversial among philosophers and nonphilosophers alike. This is perhaps not surprising in view of recent evidence that people's intuitions about moral relativism vary widely. Though many philosophers are quite critical of moral relativism, there are several contemporary philosophers who defend forms of it. These include such prominent figures as Gilbert Harman, Jesse J. Prinz, J. David (...)
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