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  1. Uncertain Facts or Uncertain Values? Testing the Distinction Between Empirical and Normative Uncertainty in Moral Judgments.Maximilian Theisen & Markus Germar - 2024 - Cognitive Science 48 (3):e13422.
    People can be uncertain in their moral judgments. Philosophers have argued that such uncertainty can either refer to the underlying empirical facts (empirical uncertainty) or to the normative evaluation of these facts itself (normative uncertainty). Psychological investigations of this distinction, however, are rare. In this paper, we combined factor-analytical and experimental approaches to show that empirical and normative uncertainty describe two related but different psychological states. In Study 1, we asked N = 265 participants to describe a case of moral (...)
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  • Metaethical intuitions in lay concepts of normative uncertainty.Maximilian Theisen - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Even if we know all relevant descriptive facts about an act, we can still be uncertain about its moral acceptability. Most literature on how to act under such normative uncertainty operates on moral realism, the metaethical view that there are objective moral facts. Lay people largely report anti-realist intuitions, which poses the question of how these intuitions affect their interpretation and handling of normative uncertainty. Results from two quasi-experimental studies (total N = 365) revealed that most people did not interpret (...)
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  • Folk metaethics and error.Xinkan Zhao - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Philosophers have in recent years displayed an increasing interest in investigating folk metaethical beliefs using rigorous empirical methods. Taken together, these studies put significant pressure on many philosophical theories that depend on the truth of folk moral objectivism, the view that the folk see morality as objectively grounded. Frequently included among the target of criticism is Mackie’s error theory, or more specifically the conceptual claim thereof. Finding this criticism misplaced, Benjamin Fraser tries to exonerate error theory from such accusation by (...)
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  • Moral Progress, Knowledge and Error: Do People Believe in Moral Objectivity?Thomas Pölzler, Lieuwe Zijlstra & Jacob Dijkstra - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    A prevalent assumption in metaethics is that people believe in moral objectivity. If this assumption were true then people should believe in the possibility of objective moral progress, objective moral knowledge, and objective moral error. We developed surveys to investigate whether these predictions hold. Our results suggest that, neither abstractly nor concretely, people dominantly believe in the possibility of objective moral progress, knowledge and error. They attribute less objectivity to these phenomena than in the case of science and no more, (...)
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  • The Normative Significance of Empirical Moral Psychology.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):1-5.
    Many psychologists have tried to reveal the formation and processing of moral judgments by using a variety of empirical methods: behavioral data, tests of statistical significance, and brain imaging. Meanwhile, some scholars maintain that the new empirical findings of the ways we make moral judgments question the trustworthiness and authority of many intuitive ethical responses. The aim of this special issue is to encourage scholars to rethink how, if at all, it is possible to draw any normative conclusions by discovering (...)
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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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