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Ethics Without Principles

Oxford University Press (2004)

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  1. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
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  • Implicit Theories of Morality, Personality, and Contextual Factors in Moral Appraisal.Ana Maria Hojbotă - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (2):191-221.
    This article explores the implicit theories of morality, or the conceptions regarding the patterns of stability, continuity and change in moral dispositions, both in lay and academic discourses. The controversies surrounding these conceptions and the fragmentation of the models and perspectives in metaethics and moral psychology endangers the pursuit of adequate operationalizations of morally relevant constructs. The current debate between situationists, who deny that character is an useful concept for understanding human behavior, which is better explained by contextual factors (Doris (...)
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  • Defeaters and Disqualifiers.Daniel Muñoz - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):887-906.
    Justification depends on context: even if E on its own justifies H, still it might fail to justify in the context of D. This sort of effect, epistemologists think, is due to defeaters, which undermine or rebut a would-be justifier. I argue that there is another fundamental sort of contextual feature, disqualification, which doesn't involve rebuttal or undercutting, and which cannot be reduced to any notion of screening-off. A disqualifier makes some would-be justifier otiose, as direct testimony sometimes does to (...)
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  • Moral Realism and Anti-Realism Outside the West: A Meta-Ethical Turn in Buddhist Ethics.Gordon Fraser Davis - 2013 - Comparative Philosophy 4 (2).
    In recent years, discussions of Buddhist ethics have increasingly drawn upon the concepts and tools of modern ethical theory, not only to compare Buddhist perspectives with Western moral theories, but also to assess the meta-ethical implications of Buddhist texts and their philosophical context. Philosophers aiming to defend the Madhyamaka framework in particular – its ethics and soteriology along with its logic and epistemology – have recently attempted to explain its combination of moral commitment and philosophical scepticism by appealing to various (...)
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  • Group Reasons.Raimo Tuomela - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):402-418.
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  • Practical Rationality at Work – A New Argumentation Model.João Sàágua & Michael D. Baumtrog - 2018 - In António Marques & João Sàágua (eds.), Essays on Values and Practical Rationality. Peter Lang. pp. 193-250.
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  • Improving Practical Reasoning and Argumentation.Michael D. Baumtrog - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
    This thesis justifies the need for and develops a new integrated model of practical reasoning and argumentation. After framing the work in terms of what is reasonable rather than what is rational (chapter 1), I apply the model for practical argumentation analysis and evaluation provided by Fairclough and Fairclough (2012) to a paradigm case of unreasonable individual practical argumentation provided by mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik (chapter 2). The application shows that by following the model, Breivik is relatively easily able (...)
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  • How to Be a Deontic Buck-Passer.Euan K. H. Metz - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Deontic, as opposed to evaluative buck-passing theories seem to be easier to accept, since there appears to be an intimate connection between deontic properties, such as ‘ought’, ‘requirement’, and ‘permission’ on the one hand, and normative reasons on the other. However, it is far from obvious what, precisely, the connection consists in, and this topic has suffered from a paucity of discussion. This paper seeks to address that paucity by providing a novel deontic buck-passing view, one that avoids the pitfalls (...)
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  • Is Moral Theory Harmful in Practice?—Relocating Anti-Theory in Contemporary Ethics.Nora Hämäläinen - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):539-553.
    In this paper I discuss the viability of the claim that at least some forms of moral theory are harmful for sound moral thought and practice. This claim was put forward by e.g. Elisabeth Anscombe ( 1981 ( 1958 )) and by Annette Baier, Peter Winch, D.Z Phillips and Bernard Williams in the 1970’s–1980’s. To this day aspects of it have found resonance in both post-Wittgensteinian and virtue ethical quarters. The criticism has on one hand contributed to a substantial change (...)
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  • Friedrich Schlegel and the Character of Romantic Ethics.Benjamin D. Crowe - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (1):53 - 79.
    Recent years have witnessed a rehabilitation of early German Romanticism in philosophy, including a renewed interest in Romantic ethics. Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829) is acknowledged as a key figure in this movement. While significant work has been done on some aspects of his thought, his views on ethics have been surprisingly overlooked. This essay aims to redress this shortcoming in the literature by examining the core themes of Schlegel’s ethics during the early phase of his career (1793–1801). I argue that Schlegel’s (...)
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  • Ética y eudaimonía: la crítica de Bernard Williams a la naturaleza humana en Aristóteles.Camilo Andrés Ardila Arévalo - 2018 - Cuestiones de Filosofía 22 (4):71-89.
    Tradicionalmente, se ha argumentado que el concepto de eudaimonía en Aristóteles se encuentra anclado en el contexto de una comprensión teleológica del universo, por cuanto dicha noción parece radicar en una definición funcionalista de la naturaleza humana. Teniendo esto en mente, Bernard Williams ha desarrollado una crítica en contra de la propuesta ética de Aristóteles, acusándola de una cierta ambición científica en el campo del razonamiento práctico que resulta insostenible actualmente. Este ensayo busca discutir si, en efecto, estos señalamientos tienen (...)
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  • Grounding-Based Formulations of Legal Positivism.Samuele Chilovi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    The goal of this paper is to provide an accurate grounding-based formulation of positivism in the philosophy of law. I start off by discussing some simple formulations, based on the ideas that social facts are always either full or partial grounds of legal facts. I then raise a number of objections against these definitions: the full grounding proposal rules out possibilities that are compatible with positivism; the partial grounding proposal fails, on its own, to vindicate the distinctive role that is (...)
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  • Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade. [REVIEW]James Stacey Taylor - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (5):579-581.
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  • Normative Reasons and the Agent-Neutral/Relative Dichotomy.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):227-243.
    The distinction between the agent-relative and the agent-neutral plays a prominent role in recent attempts to taxonomize normative theories. Its importance extends to most areas in practical philosophy, though. Despite its popularity, the distinction remains difficult to get a good grip on. In part this has to do with the fact that there is no consensus concerning the sort of objects to which we should apply the distinction. Thomas Nagel distinguishes between agent-neutral and agent-relative values, reasons, and principles; Derek Parfit (...)
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  • Particularism and the Structure of Reasons.Christian Piller - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (2):87-102.
    I argue that particularism (or holism) about reasons, i.e., the view that a feature that is a reason in one case need not be a reason in another case, is true, but uninterestingly so. Its truth is best explained by principles that govern a weaker notion than that of being a reason: one thing can be ‘normatively connected’ to something else without its being a reason for what it is normatively connected to. Thus, even though true, particularism about reasons does (...)
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  • Morphological Rationalism and the Psychology of Moral Judgment.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):279-295.
    According to rationalism regarding the psychology of moral judgment, people’s moral judgments are generally the result of a process of reasoning that relies on moral principles or rules. By contrast, intuitionist models of moral judgment hold that people generally come to have moral judgments about particular cases on the basis of gut-level, emotion-driven intuition, and do so without reliance on reasoning and hence without reliance on moral principles. In recent years the intuitionist model has been forcefully defended by Jonathan Haidt. (...)
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  • The Explanatory Ambitions of Moral Principles.Selim Berker - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):904-936.
    Moral properties are explained by other properties. And moral principles tell us about moral properties. How are these two ideas related? In particular, is the truth of a given moral principle part of what explains why a given action has a given moral property? I argue “No.” If moral principles are merely concerned with the extension of moral properties across all possible worlds, then they cannot be partial explainers of facts about the instantiation of those properties, since in general necessitation (...)
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  • A Particularist Epistemology: 'Affectual Intuitionism'. [REVIEW]Sabine Roeser - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (1):33-44.
    Jonathan Dancy has developed a very refined theory called ethical particularism. He has argued extensively for the metaphysical part of his position. However, the accompanying epistemology is not yet clear. In this paper I will sketch a particularist epistemology that is consistent with Dancy’s particularist metaphysics, although my approach differs in certain respects from epistemological claims Dancy has made. I will defend an epistemology that states: 1. that moral knowledge is based on intuitions and 2. that we need emotions in (...)
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  • Moral Case Classification and the Nonlocality of Reasons.Marcello Guarini - 2013 - Topoi 32 (2):267-289.
    This paper presents the results of training an artificial neural network (ANN) to classify moral situations. The ANN produces a similarity space in the process of solving its classification problem. The state space is subjected to analysis that suggests that holistic approaches to interpreting its functioning are problematic. The idea of a contributory or pro tanto standard, as discussed in debates between moral particularists and generalists, is used to understand the structure of the similarity space generated by the ANN. A (...)
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  • Justification in Context.Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik - 2005 - Acta Analytica 20 (9):91-104.
    The general drive in epistemology is to deliver necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge with the use of exceptionless general epistemic principles. There is another way, however, to approach the phenomenon of knowledge – by particularistic beautiful patterns. David Lewis in his paper „Elusive Knowledge” provides a nice contextual epistemology. We also think that contextualism is the right way to go and that the epistemic context plays an important role in our endeavors to gain knowledge. But, we disagree with Lewis (...)
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  • Defending Particularism From Supervenience/Resultance Attack.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (4):387-402.
    I take the debate between the particularists and the principlists to be centered on the issue of whether there are true moral principles. One argument the principlists often appeal to in support of their claim that there are true moral principles is the argument from supervenience. Roughly, the argument is made up of the following three statements: (P1) If the thesis of moral supervenience holds, then there are true moral principles. (P2) The thesis of moral supervenience holds. (C) There are (...)
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  • Epistemic Constraints on Practical Normativity.Simon Robertson - 2011 - Synthese 181 (S1):81-106.
    What is the relation between what we ought to do, on the one hand, and our epistemic access to the ought-giving facts, on the other? In assessing this,it is common to distinguish ‘objective’ from ‘subjective’ oughts. Very roughly, on the objectivist conception what an agent ought to do is determined by ought-giving facts in such a way that does not depend on the agent’s beliefs about, or epistemic access to, those facts; whereas on the subjectivist conception, what an agent ought (...)
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  • Reason Holism, Individuation, and Embeddedness.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1091-1103.
    The goal of this paper is to promote what I call ‘the embedded thesis’ as a general constraint on how moral reasons behave. Dancy’s reason holism will be used as a foil to illustrate the thesis. According to Dancy’s reason holism, moral reasons behave in a holistic way; that is, a feature that is a moral reason in one context might not be so in another or might even be an opposite reason. The way a feature manages to switch its (...)
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  • What is Deep Disagreement?Chris Ranalli - forthcoming - Topoi.
    What is the nature of deep disagreement? In this paper, I consider two similar albeit seemingly rival answers to this question: the Wittgensteinian theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over hinge propositions, and the fundamental epistemic principle theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over fundamental epistemic principles. I assess these theories against a set of desiderata for a satisfactory theory of deep disagreement, and argue that while the fundamental epistemic principle theory does better than the Wittgensteinian (...)
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  • Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
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  • The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning.Samuel Asarnow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):614-636.
    According to the Reasoning View about normative reasons, facts about normative reasons for action can be understood in terms of facts about the norms of practical reasoning. I argue that this view is subject to an overlooked class of counterexamples, familiar from debates about Subjectivist theories of normative reasons. Strikingly, the standard strategy Subjectivists have used to respond to this problem cannot be adapted to the Reasoning View. I think there is a solution to this problem, however. I argue that (...)
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  • The Significance of Significant Fundamental Moral Disagreement.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):802-831.
    This paper is about how moral disagreement matters for metaethics. It has four parts. In the first part I argue that moral facts are subject to a certain epistemic accessibility requirement. Namely, moral facts must be accessible to some possible agent. In the second part I show that because this accessibility requirement on moral facts holds, there is a route from facts about the moral disagreements of agents in idealized conditions to conclusions about what moral facts there are. In the (...)
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  • Buck-Passers' Negative Thesis.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):341-347.
    Buck-passers about value accept two theses about value, a negative thesis and a positive. The negative thesis is that the fact that something is valuable is not itself a reason to promote or appreciate it. The positive thesis is that the fact that something is valuable consists in the fact that there are other reasons to promote or appreciate it. Buck-passers suppose that the negative thesis follows from the positive one, and sometimes insist on it as if it is the (...)
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  • Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  • Realism and Reduction: The Quest for Robustness.Mark Schroeder - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5:1-18.
    It doesn’t seem possible to be a realist about the traditional Christian God while claiming to be able to reduce God talk in naturalistically acceptable terms. Reduction, in this case, seems obviously eliminativist. Many philosophers seem to think that the same is true of the normative—that reductive “realists” about the normative are not really realists about the normative at all, or at least, only in some attenuated sense. This paper takes on the challenge of articulating what it is that makes (...)
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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  • Le cognitivisme moral de Habermas fait-il face au problème de Frege-Geach?1.Stéphane Courtois - 2008 - Philosophiques 35 (2):561-579.
    L’article cherche à fournir une défense de la théorie discursive de la morale de Habermas contre une critique importante formulée récemment par J. G. Finlayson, lequel soutient que Habermas rejetterait ce qu’il appelle le « cognitivisme métaéthique » et qu’un tel rejet le confronterait au problème de Frege-Geach. L’article démontre en détail que cette critique est non fondée. Il montre de plus que la seule forme de cognitivisme rejetée par Habermas est le descriptivisme moral en ce que cette approche serait (...)
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  • Exceptions in Nonderivative Value.Garrett Cullity - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):26-49.
    According to most substantive axiological theories – theories telling us which things are good and bad – pleasure is nonderivatively good. This seems to imply that it is always good, even when directed towards a bad object, such as another person’s suffering. This implication is accepted by the Mainstream View about misdirected pleasures: it holds that when someone takes pleasure in another person’s suffering, his being pleased is good, although his being pleased by suffering is bad. This view gains some (...)
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  • As You Were? Moral Philosophy and the Aetiology of Moral Experience.Garrett Cullity - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):117 – 132.
    What is the significance of empirical work on moral judgement for moral philosophy? Although the more radical conclusions that some writers have attempted to draw from this work are overstated, few areas of moral philosophy can remain unaffected by it. The most important question it raises is in moral epistemology. Given the explanation of our moral experience, how far can we trust it? Responding to this, the view defended here emphasizes the interrelatedness of moral psychology and moral epistemology. On this (...)
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  • What Makes Reasons Sufficient?Mark Schroeder - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):159-170.
    This paper addresses the question: ‘what makes reasons sufficient?’ and offers the answer, ‘being at least as weighty as the reasons for the alternatives’. The paper starts by introducing some of the reasons why sufficiency has seemed difficult to understand, particularly in epistemology, and some circumstantial evidence that this has contributed to more general problems in the epistemological literature. It then introduces the positive account of sufficiency, and explains how this captures sufficiency in both the practical and epistemic domains. Finally, (...)
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  • Social Value Judgements in Healthcare: A Philosophical Critique.Laura R. Biron, Ruth Faden & Benedict Rumbold - 2012 - Journal of Health Organization and Management 26 (3):317-30.
    PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to consider some of the philosophical and bioethical issues raised by the creation of the draft social values framework developed to facilitate data collection and country-specific presentations at the inaugural workshop on "Social values and health priority setting" held in February 2011. -/- DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Conceptual analysis is used to analyse the term "social values", as employed in the framework, and its relationship to related ideas such as moral values. The structure of the framework (...)
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  • Self-Tests for Influenza: An Empirical Ethics Investigation.Benedict Rumbold, Clare Wenham & James Wilson - 2017 - BMC Medical Ethics 18 (1):33.
    In this article we aim to assess the ethical desirability of self-test diagnostic kits for influenza, focusing in particular on the potential benefits and challenges posed by a new, mobile phone-based tool currently being developed by i-sense, an interdisciplinary research collaboration based at University College London and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Our study adopts an empirical ethics approach, supplementing an initial review into the ethical considerations posed by such technologies with qualitative data from three focus (...)
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  • Dispossessing Defeat.Javier González de Prado - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Higher‐order evidence can make an agent doubt the reliability of her reasoning. When this happens, it seems rational for the agent to adopt a cautious attitude towards her original conclusion, even in cases where the higher‐order evidence is misleading and the agent's original reasons were actually perfectly good. One may think that recoiling to a cautious attitude in the face of misleading self‐doubt involves a failure to properly respond to one's reasons. My aim is to show that this is not (...)
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  • A Matter of Principle. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568 - 580.
    This is an early draft of a joint critical notice I am writing of Jonathan Dancy’s Ethics Without Principles and Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge’s Principled Ethics, for Noûs.
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  • Jonathan Dancy. Ethics Without Principles (Oxford University Press, 2004)Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge. Principled Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2006). [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568-580.
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  • Norms in Deliberation: The Role of the Principles of Justice and Universalization in Practical Discourses on the Justice of Norms.Cristina Corredor - 2018 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 55 (1):11-29.
    Discursive theories of justice have been questioned for putting forward high-level principles that should nevertheless play a role in practical discourses in which the justice of a claim is at stake. Here, I will critically examine and systematize the main tenets in Rawls’s and Habermas’s discursive theories, and will suggest that the principles of justice and universalization can and play the role of mandates of optimalization in real deliberations on justice.
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  • Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
    Particularists in ethics emphasize that the normative is holistic, and invite us to infer with them that it therefore defies generalization. This has been supposed to present an obstacle to traditional moral theorizing, to have striking implications for moral epistemology and moral deliberation, and to rule out reductive theories of the normative, making it a bold and important thesis across the areas of normative theory, moral epistemology, moral psychology, and normative metaphysics. Though particularists emphasize the importance of the holism of (...)
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  • Towards a More Particularist View of Rights’ Stringency.Benedict Rumbold - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (2):211-233.
    For all their various disagreements, one point upon which rights theorists often agree is that it is simply part of the nature of rights that they tend to override, outweigh or exclude competing considerations in moral reasoning, that they have ‘peremptory force’, making ‘powerful demands’ that can only be overridden in ‘exceptional circumstances’, Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, p. 240). In this article I challenge this thought. My aim here is not to prove that the (...)
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  • The (Metaphysical) Foundations of Arithmetic?Thomas Donaldson - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):775-801.
    Gideon Rosen and Robert Schwartzkopff have independently suggested (variants of) the following claim, which is a varian of Hume's Principle: -/- When the number of Fs is identical to the number of Gs, this fact is grounded by the fact that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the Fs and Gs. -/- My paper is a detailed critique of the proposal. I don't find any decisive refutation of the proposal. At the same time, it has some consequences which many will (...)
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  • Rationality as the Rule of Reason.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The demands of rationality are linked both to our subjective normative perspective (given that rationality is a person-level concept) and to objective reasons or favoring relations (given that rationality is non-contingently authoritative for us). In this paper, I propose a new way of reconciling the tension between these two aspects: roughly, what rationality requires of us is having the attitudes that correspond to our take on reasons in the light of our evidence, but only if it is competent. I show (...)
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  • Why Moral Principles?Joe Mintoff - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1133-1159.
    Jonathan Dancy challenges moral generalists to come up with a picture of moral thought and judgment which requires a provision of principles that cover the ground. The aim of this paper is to provide a response to Dancy's challenge. I argue that reasonable moral thought requires us to explain ourselves when we have reason to doubt our moral judgment about some particular case, that any such explanation commits us to a general moral principle over some domain of discussion and that (...)
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  • The Unreality of Evil.W. J. Mander - 2018 - Sophia 57 (2):249-264.
    The simplest response to the problem of evil is to deny that there exists any evil, but that answer is usually dismissed as obviously unacceptable. This paper takes issue with that assessment and argues that it is an answer deserving of serious consideration. After rejecting four manifestly unacceptable formulations, two further conceptions are identified—the ‘higher standard’ and ‘wider perspective’ answers—which merit closer attention. The remainder of the paper considers and responds to four main objections to the theory: that it runs (...)
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  • Absolutism, Relativism and Metaepistemology.J. Adam Carter & Robin McKenna - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper is about two topics: metaepistemological absolutism and the epistemic principles governing perceptual warrant. Our aim is to highlight – by taking the debate between dogmatists and conservativists about perceptual warrant as a case study – a surprising and hitherto unnoticed problem with metaepistemological absolutism, at least as it has been influentially defended by Paul Boghossian (2006a) as the principal metaepistemological contrast point to relativism. What we find is that the metaepistemological commitments at play on both sides of this (...)
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  • Explaining Moral Knowledge.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (1):35-56.
    In this paper I assess the viability of a particularist explanation of moral knowledge. First, I consider two arguments by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge that purport to show that a generalist, principle-based explanation of practical wisdom—understood as the ability to acquire moral knowledge in a wide range of situations—is superior to a particularist, non-principle-based account. I contend that both arguments are unsuccessful. Then, I propose a particularist-friendly explanation of knowledge of particular moral facts. I argue that when we are (...)
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  • Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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