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  1. The Unreliable Intuitions Objection Against Reflective Equilibrium.Norbert Paulo - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):333-353.
    Reflective equilibrium has been criticized for various reasons ever since the publication of Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. Recent empirical research into moral decision-making poses new challenges to RE because it questions the reliability of moral intuitions. This research might discredit moral intuitionism in general and RE in particular insofar as it ascribes epistemic value to moral intuitions. These findings suggest, for instance, that moral intuitions vary with cultural background, gender or framing. If it could be shown that all or (...)
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  • A Limited Skeptical Threat. [REVIEW]Joshua May - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:35-6.
    Doris argues that our choices are heavily influenced by forces that we wouldn’t count as genuine reasons. This unsettling conclusion is motivated by a debunking argument so wide-ranging that it isn’t foisted upon us by the sciences. Doris sometimes seems to lower his ambitions when offering instead a skeptical hypothesis argument, but that conflicts with his aims in the book.
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  • Defending Optimistic Rationalism: A Reply to Commentators.Joshua May - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    In response, I elaborate on my conception of moral reasoning, as well as clarify the structure of debunking arguments and how my cautious optimism is only of the “glass half full” sort. I also explain how rationalism can capture insights purportedly only explained by sentimentalist and Humean views. The reply concludes by clarifying and admitting some limits of the book's scope.
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  • A Plea for Minimally Biased Naturalistic Philosophy.Andrea Polonioli - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3841-3867.
    Naturalistic philosophers rely on literature search and review in a number of ways and for different purposes. Yet this article shows how processes of literature search and review are likely to be affected by widespread and systematic biases. A solution to this problem is offered here. Whilst the tradition of systematic reviews of literature from scientific disciplines has been neglected in philosophy, systematic reviews are important tools that minimize bias in literature search and review and allow for greater reproducibility and (...)
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  • X-Phi and Impartiality Thought Experiments: Investigating the Veil of Ignorance.Norbert Paulo & Thomas Pölzler - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):72-89.
    This paper discusses “impartiality thought experiments”, i.e., thought experiments that attempt to generate intuitions which are unaffected by personal characteristics such as age, gender or race. We focus on the most prominent impartiality thought experiment, the Veil of Ignorance, and show that both in its original Rawlsian version and in a more generic version, empirical investigations can be normatively relevant in two ways: First, on the assumption that the VOI is effective and robust, if subjects dominantly favor a certain normative (...)
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  • Are Intuitions About Moral Relevance Susceptible to Framing Effects?James Andow - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (1):115-141.
    Various studies have reported that moral intuitions about the permissibility of acts are subject to framing effects. This paper reports the results of a series of experiments which further examine the susceptibility of moral intuitions to framing effects. The main aim was to test recent speculation that intuitions about the moral relevance of certain properties of cases might be relatively resistent to framing effects. If correct, this would provide a certain type of moral intuitionist with the resources to resist challenges (...)
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  • Defusing the Regress Challenge to Debunking Arguments.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):785-800.
    A debunking argument contends that some target moral judgments were produced by unreliable processes and concludes that such judgments are unjustified. Debunking arguments face a regress challenge: to show that a process is unreliable at tracking the moral truth, we need to rely on other moral judgments. But we must show that these relied-upon judgments are also reliable, which requires yet a further set of judgments, whose reliability needs to be confirmed too, and so on. Some argue that the debunker (...)
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  • Do Psychological Defeaters Undermine Foundationalism in Moral Epistemology? - a Critique of Sinnott-Armstrong’s Argument Against Ethical Intuitionism.Philipp Schwind - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):941-952.
    Foundationalism in moral epistemology is a core tenet of ethical intuitionism. According to foundationalism, some moral beliefs can be known without inferential justification; instead, all that is required is a proper understanding of the beliefs in question. In an influential criticism against this view, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has argued that certain psychological facts undermine the reliability of moral intuitions. He claims that foundationalists would have to show that non-inferentially justified beliefs are not subject to those defeaters, but this would already constitute (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Hanno Sauer - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this crisply written book, Hanno Sauer offers the first book-length treatment of debunking arguments in ethics, developing an empirically informed and philosophically sophisticated account of genealogical arguments and their significance for the reliability of moral cognition. He breaks new ground by introducing a series of novel distinctions into the current debate, which allows him to develop a framework for assessing the prospects of debunking or vindicating our moral intuitions. He also challenges the justification of some of our moral judgments (...)
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  • Are Gettier Cases Disturbing?Peter Hawke & Tom Schoonen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    We examine a prominent naturalistic line on the method of cases, exemplified by Timothy Williamson and Edouard Machery: MoC is given a fallibilist and non-exceptionalist treatment, accommodating moderate modal skepticism. But Gettier cases are in dispute: Williamson takes them to induce substantive philosophical knowledge; Machery claims that the ambitious use of MoC should be abandoned entirely. We defend an intermediate position. We offer an internal critique of Macherian pessimism about Gettier cases. Most crucially, we argue that Gettier cases needn’t exhibit (...)
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  • Are Intuitions About Moral Relevance Susceptible to Framing Effects?James Andow - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1):1-27.
    Various studies have reported that moral intuitions about the permissibility of acts are subject to framing effects. This paper reports the results of a series of experiments which further examine the susceptibility of moral intuitions to framing effects. The main aim was to test recent speculation that intuitions about the moral relevance of certain properties of cases might be relatively resistent to framing effects. If correct, this would provide a certain type of moral intuitionist with the resources to resist challenges (...)
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  • These Confabulations Are Guaranteed to Improve Your Marriage! Toward a Teleological Theory of Confabulation.Samuel Murray & Peter Finocchiaro - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    Confabulation is typically understood to be dysfunctional. But this understanding neglects the phenomenon's potential benefits. In fact, we think that the benefits of non-clinical confabulation provide a better foundation for a general account of confabulation. In this paper, we start from these benefits to develop a social teleological account of confabulation. Central to our account is the idea that confabulation manifests a kind of willful ignorance. By understanding confabulation in this way, we can provide principled explanations for the difference between (...)
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  • Précis of Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (e146):1-60.
    Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind argues that a careful examination of the scientific literature reveals a foundational role for reasoning in moral thought and action. Grounding moral psychology in reason then paves the way for a defense of moral knowledge and virtue against a variety of empirical challenges, such as debunking arguments and situationist critiques. The book attempts to provide a corrective to current trends in moral psychology, which celebrate emotion over reason and generate pessimism about the psychological (...)
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  • Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
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  • How to Debunk Moral Beliefs.Victor Kumar & Joshua May - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 25-48.
    Arguments attempting to debunk moral beliefs, by showing they are unjustified, have tended to be global, targeting all moral beliefs or a large set of them. Popular debunking arguments point to various factors purportedly influencing moral beliefs, from evolutionary pressures, to automatic and emotionally-driven processes, to framing effects. We show that these sweeping arguments face a debunker’s dilemma: either the relevant factor is not a main basis for belief or it does not render the relevant beliefs unjustified. Empirical debunking arguments (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Trolleys?Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Lontoo, Yhdistynyt kuningaskunta:
    Recent empirical studies of philosophers by Eric Schwitzgebel and others have seriously called into question whether professional ethicists have any useful expertise with thought experiments, given that their intuitions appear to be no more reliable than those of lay subjects. Drawing on such results, sceptics like Edouard Machery argue that normative ethics as it is currently practiced is deeply problematic. In this paper, I present two main arguments in defense of the standard methodology of normative ethics. First, there is strong (...)
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  • Reliable but Not Home Free? What Framing Effects Mean for Moral Intuitions.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):904-911.
    Various studies show moral intuitions to be susceptible to framing effects. Many have argued that this susceptibility is a sign of unreliability and that this poses a methodological challenge for moral philosophy. Recently, doubt has been cast on this idea. It has been argued that extant evidence of framing effects does not show that moral intuitions have an unreliability problem. I argue that, even if the extant evidence suggests that moral intuitions are fairly stable with respect to what intuitions we (...)
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  • A Plea for Minimally Biased Empirical Philosophy.Andrea Polonioli - unknown
    Naturalistic philosophers rely on literature search and review in a number of ways and for different purposes. Yet this article shows how processes of literature search and review are likely to be affected by widespread and systematic biases. A solution to this problem is offered here. Whilst the tradition of systematic reviews of literature from scientific disciplines has been neglected in philosophy, systematic reviews are important tools that minimize bias in literature search and review and allow for greater reproducibility and (...)
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  • The Challenges Involved with Going Negative.Joshua Alexander - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):465-479.
    One rather common way of doing philosophy involves what is called “the method of cases,” where philosophers design hypothetical cases and use what we think about those cases—our “philosophical intuitions”—as evidence that certain philosophical theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing that those theories are true or false. This way of doing philosophy has been challenged in recent years on the basis of both general epistemological considerations and more specific methodological concerns. These methodological concerns have focused not (...)
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  • Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds.Edouard Machery - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    In Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds, Edouard Machery argues that resolving many traditional and contemporary philosophical issues is beyond our epistemic reach and that philosophy should re-orient itself toward more humble, but ultimately more important intellectual endeavors, such as the analysis of concepts.
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  • Framing How We Think About Disagreement.Joshua Alexander, Diana Betz, Chad Gonnerman & John Philip Waterman - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2539-2566.
    Disagreement is a hot topic right now in epistemology, where there is spirited debate between epistemologists who argue that we should be moved by the fact that we disagree and those who argue that we need not. Both sides to this debate often use what is commonly called “the method of cases,” designing hypothetical cases involving peer disagreement and using what we think about those cases as evidence that specific normative theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing (...)
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  • Does Neuroscience Undermine Morality?Paul Henne & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
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