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  1. Unity of Reasons.Adam Cureton - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):877-895.
    There are at least two basic normative notions: rationality and reasons. The dominant normative account of reasons nowadays, which I call primitive pluralism about reasons, holds that some reasons are normatively basic and there is no underlying normative explanation of them in terms of other normative notions. Kantian constructivism about reasons, understood as a normative rather than a metaethical view, holds that rationality is the primitive normative notion that picks out which non-normative facts are reasons for what and explains why (...)
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  • Regrettable Beliefs.Mica Rapstine - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  • Towards a Kantian Theory of Judgment: The Power of Judgment in its Practical and Aesthetic Employment.Dascha Düring & Marcus Düwell - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):943-956.
    Human beings orient themselves in the world via judgments; factual, moral, prudential, aesthetic, and all kinds of mixed judgments. Particularly for normative orientation in complex and contested contexts of action, it can be challenging to form judgments. This paper explores what one can reasonably expect from a theory of the power of judgment from a Kantian approach to ethics. We reconstruct practical judgments on basis of the self-reflexive capacities of human beings, and argue that for the subject to see himself (...)
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  • Against the Public Goods Conception of Public Health.Justin Bernstein & Pierce Randall - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics:phaa021.
    Public health ethicists face two difficult questions. First, what makes something a matter of public health? While protecting citizens from outbreaks of communicable diseases is clearly a matter of public health, is the same true of policies that aim to reduce obesity, gun violence or political corruption? Second, what should the scope of the government’s authority be in promoting public health? May government enact public health policies some citizens reasonably object to or policies that are paternalistic? Recently, some theorists have (...)
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  • How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism?David Enoch - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15-50.
    Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to realism, but (...)
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  • Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  • Kantian Constructivism and the Reinhold–Sidgwick Objection.Matthé Scholten - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):364-379.
    In this paper, I give a reconstruction of the so‐called Reinhold–Sidgwick objection and show that Korsgaard‐style Kantian constructivists are committed to two key premises of the underlying argument. According to the Reinhold–Sidgwick objection, the Kantian conception of autonomy entails the absurd conclusion that no one is ever morally responsible for a morally wrong action. My reconstruction of the underlying argument reveals that the objection depends on a third premise, which says that freedom is a necessary condition for moral responsibility. After (...)
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  • Kant's Commitment to Metaphysics of Morals.L. Nandi Theunissen - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):103-128.
    A definitive feature of Kant's moral philosophy is its rationalism. Kant insists that moral theory, at least at its foundation, cannot take account of empirical facts about human beings and their circumstances in the world. This is the core of Kant's commitment to ‘metaphysics of morals’, and it is what he sees as his greatest contribution to moral philosophy. The paper clarifies what it means to be committed to metaphysics of morals, why Kant is committed to it, and where he (...)
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  • Epistemic Schmagency?A. K. Flowerree - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 289-310.
    Constructivist approaches in epistemology and ethics offer a promising account of normativity. But constructivism faces a powerful Schmagency Objection, raised by David Enoch. While Enoch’s objection has been widely discussed in the context of practical norms, no one has yet explored how the Schmagency Objection might undermine epistemic constructivism. In this paper, I rectify that gap. First, I develop the objection against a prominent form of epistemic constructivism, Belief Constitutivism. Belief Constitutivism is susceptible to a Schmagency Objection, I argue, because (...)
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  • Two Sorts of Constitutivism.Jeremy David Fix - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Some things, but only some things, are by nature subject to standards. Why? I explain a constitutivist answer to this question in terms of certain genera possessing essential properties which their particulars can possess or lack. When something is by nature subject to a standard, it is so subject because it is a particular of a genus with such properties, and it is subject to a standard with respect to those very properties. I then explain the account of the nature (...)
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  • Defending Fundamental Requirements of Practical Reason: A Constitutivist Framework.David Alm - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Research 36:77-102.
    In this paper I offer a partial defense of a constitutivist view according to which it is possible to defend fundamental requirements of practical reason by appeal to facts about what is constitutive of rational agency. I show how it is possible for that approach to circumvent the ‘is’/’ought’ problem as well as the requirement that it be possible to act contrary to practical reason. But I do not attempt to establish any particular fundamental requirement. The key ideas are that (...)
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  • The Ethics–Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke‐Doane - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).
    Ethics and mathematics have long invited comparisons. On the one hand, both ethical and mathematical propositions can appear to be knowable a priori, if knowable at all. On the other hand, mathematical propositions seem to admit of proof, and to enter into empirical scientific theories, in a way that ethical propositions do not. In this article, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between ethical (i.e., moral) and mathematical knowledge, realistically construed -- i.e., construed as independent of human mind and languages. (...)
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  • Ethical Objectivity: The Test of Time.Carla Bagnoli - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):325-338.
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  • The Possibility of Deliberate Norm-Adherence in AI.Danielle Swanepoel - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology.
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  • Perfection and Fiction : A Study in Iris Murdoch's Moral Philosophy.Frits Gåvertsson - 2018 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis comprises a study of the ethical thought of Iris Murdoch with special emphasis, as evidenced by the title, on how morality is intimately connected to self-improvement aiming at perfection and how the study of fiction has an important role to play in our strive towards bettering ourselves within the framework set by Murdoch’s moral philosophy.
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  • Grounding Practical Normativity: Going Hybrid.Ruth Chang - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):163-187.
    In virtue of what is something a reason for action? That is, what makes a consideration a reason to act? This is a metaphysical or meta-normative question about the grounding of reasons for action. The answer to the grounding question has been traditionally given in ‘pure’, univocal terms. This paper argues that there is good reason to understand the ground of practical normativity as a hybrid of traditional ‘pure’ views. The paper 1) surveys the three leading ‘pure’ answers to the (...)
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  • A Writing Guide for Professional Philosophers.Neil Mehta - manuscript
    This guide focuses on the content and form of excellent philosophical writing, with further comments on reading, thinking, writing processes, publication strategies, and self-cultivation.
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  • Reasons: Wrong, Right, Normative, Fundamental.Kurt Sylvan & Errol Lord - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (1).
    Reasons fundamentalists maintain that we can analyze all derivative normative properties in terms of normative reasons. These theorists famously encounter the Wrong Kind of Reasons problem, since not all reasons for reactions seem relevant for reasons-based analyses. Some have argued that this problem is a general one for many theorists, and claim that this lightens the burden for reasons fundamentalists. We argue in this paper that the reverse is true: the generality of the problem makes life harder for reasons fundamentalists. (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • The Normativity of Belief.Conor McHugh & Daniel Whiting - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):698-713.
    This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.
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  • Recent Work on Ethical Realism.William J. FitzPatrick - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):746-760.
    Introduction: characterizing ethical realismIt is useful to begin a survey of recent work on ethical realism with a look at current disputes over what makes a theory of ethics count as ‘realist’ in the first place. Nearly all characterizations of ethical realism include some version of the following two core claims: Ethical discourse is assertoric and descriptive: ethical claims purport to state ethical facts by attributing ethical properties to people, actions, institutions, etc., and are thus true or false depending on (...)
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  • The Subjective Authority of Intention.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):354-373.
    While much has been written about the functional profile of intentions, and about their normative or rational status, comparatively little has been said about the subjective authority of intention. What is it about intending that explains the ‘hold’ that an intention has on an agent—a hold that is palpable from her first-person perspective? I argue that several prima facie appealing explanations are not promising. Instead, I maintain that the subjective authority of intention can be explained in terms of the inner (...)
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  • Constitutivism and Transcendental Practical Philosophy: How to Pull the Rabbit Out of the Hat.Sorin Baiasu - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1185-1208.
    Constitutivism aims to justify substantial normative standards as constitutive of practical reason. In this way, it can defend the constructivist commitment to avoiding realism and anti-realism in normative disciplines. This metaphysical debate is the perspective from which the nature of the constitutivist justification is usually discussed. In this paper, I focus on a related, but distinct, debate. My concern will not be whether the substantial normative claims asserted by the constructivist have some elements, which are not constructed, but real, given (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Intentions.Bruno Verbeek - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):87-101.
    Suppose you intend now to φ at some future time t. However, when t has come you do not φ. Something has gone wrong. This failing is not just a causal but also a normative failing. This raises the question how to characterize this failing. I discuss three alternative views. On the first view, the fact that you do not execute your intention to φ is blameworthy only if the balance of reasons pointed to φ-ing. The fact that you intended (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  • Akrasia and the Constitution of Agency.Kieran Setiya - 2016 - In Practical Knowledge: Selected Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Argues that we do not act intentionally ‘under the guise of the good.’ This makes it hard to explain why akrasia is distinctively irrational; but this is no objection, since it is just as hard to explain on the opposing view. Ends with a problem of akrasia for ethical rationalists.
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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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  • Inescapability and Normativity.Matthew Silverstein - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (3):1-27.
    When we make ethical claims, we invoke a kind of objective authority. A familiar worry about our ethical practices is that this invocation of authority involves a mistake. This worry was perhaps best captured by John Mackie, who argued that the fabric of the world contains nothing so queer as objective authority and thus that all our ethical claims are false. Kantians such as Christine Korsgaard and David Velleman offer accounts of the objectivity of ethics that do without the controversial (...)
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  • Commitment, Reasons, and the Will.Ruth Chang - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 74-113.
    This paper argues that there is a particular kind of ‘internal’ commitment typically made in the context of romantic love relationships that has striking meta-normative implications for how we understand the role of the will in practical normativity. Internal commitments cannot plausibly explain the reasons we have in committed relationships on the usual model – as triggering reasons that are already there, in the way that making a promise triggers a reason via a pre-existing norm of the form ‘If you (...)
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  • The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2013 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    My dissertation is a systematic defense of the claim that what it is to be rational is to correctly respond to the reasons you possess. The dissertation is split into two parts, each consisting of three chapters. In Part I--Coherence, Possession, and Correctly Responding--I argue that my view has important advantages over popular views in metaethics that tie rationality to coherence (ch. 2), defend a novel view of what it is to possess a reason (ch. 3), and defend a novel (...)
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  • Introduction: Through Contexts to Actions.Anton Leist - 2007 - In .
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  • Constitutive Arguments.Ariela Tubert - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):656-666.
    Can the question "Why do what morality requires?" be answered in such a way that anyone regardless of their desires or interests has reason to be moral? One strategy for answering this question appeals to constitutive arguments. In general, constitutive arguments attempt to establish the normativity of rational requirements by pointing out that we are already committed to them insofar as we are believers or agents. This study is concerned with the general prospects for such arguments. It starts by explaining (...)
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  • Constitutivism About Practical Reasons.Paul Katsafanas - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 367-394.
    This paper introduces constitutivism about practical reason, which is the view that we can justify certain normative claims by showing that agents become committed to these claims simply in virtue of acting. According to this view, action has a certain structural feature – a constitutive aim, principle, or standard – that both constitutes events as actions and generates a standard of assessment for action. We can use this standard of assessment to derive normative claims. In short, the authority of certain (...)
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  • The Foundations of Agency – and Ethics?Olof Leffler - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):547-563.
    In this article, I take off from some central issues in Paul Katsafanas’ recent book Agency and the Foundations of Ethics. I argue that Katsafanas’ alleged aims of action fail to do the work he requires them to do. First, his approach to activity or control is deeply problematic in the light of counterexamples. More importantly, the view of activity or control he needs to get his argument going is most likely false, as it requires our values to do work (...)
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  • Deliberative Indispensability and Epistemic Justification.Tristram McPherson - 2015 - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 10. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 104-133.
    Many of us care about the existence of ethical facts because such facts appear crucial to making sense of our practical lives. On one tempting line of thought, this idea does more than raise the metaethical stakes: it can also play a central role in justifying our belief in those facts. In recent work, David Enoch has developed this tempting thought into a formidable new proposal in moral epistemology, that aims to explain how the deliberative indispensability of ethical facts gives (...)
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  • Emotion, Deliberation, and the Skill Model of Virtuous Agency.Charlie Kurth - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (3):299-317.
    A recent skeptical challenge denies deliberation is essential to virtuous agency: what looks like genuine deliberation is just a post hoc rationalization of a decision already made by automatic mechanisms (Haidt 2001; Doris 2015). Annas’s account of virtue seems well-equipped to respond: by modeling virtue on skills, she can agree that virtuous actions are deliberation-free while insisting that their development requires significant thought. But Annas’s proposal is flawed: it over-intellectualizes deliberation’s developmental role and under-intellectualizes its significance once virtue is acquired. (...)
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  • Against Quietist Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.
    Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than silencing metaphysical questions about (...)
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  • Truth: The Aim and Norm of Belief.Daniel Whiting - 2013 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):121-136.
    Invited contribution to The Aim of Belief, a special issue of Teorema, guest-edited by J. Zalabardo.
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  • Humanity, Virtue, Justice: A Framework for a Capability Approach.Benjamin James Bessey - unknown
    This Thesis reconsiders the prospects for an approach to global justice centring on the proposal that every human being should possess a certain bundle of goods, which would include certain members of a distinctive category: the category of capabilities. My overall aim is to present a clarified and well-developed framework, within which such claims can be made. To do this, I visit a number of regions of normative and metanormative theorising. I begin by introducing the motivations for the capability approach, (...)
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  • Getting Causes From Powers By Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum.J. McKitrick - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):402-404.
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  • XV-The Limits of Normative Detachment.Nishi Shah - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (3pt3):347-371.
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  • XV—Normative Non-Naturalism and the Problem of Authority.Shamik Dasgupta - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3):297-319.
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  • Constitutivism and the Self-Reflection Requirement.Caroline Arruda - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1165-1183.
    Constitutivists explicitly emphasize the importance of self-reflection for rational agency. Interestingly enough, there is no clear account of how and why self-reflection plays such an important role for these views. My aim in this paper is to address this underappreciated problem for constitutivist views and to determine whether constitutivist self-reflection is normatively oriented. Understanding its normative features will allow us to evaluate a potential way that constitutivism may meet its purported metaethical promise. I begin by showing why constitutivism, as exemplified (...)
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  • Realism and the Absence of Value.Shamik Dasgupta - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):279-322.
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  • Reasons for Emotion and Moral Motivation.Reid Blackman - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):805-827.
    Internalism about normative reasons is the view that an agent’s normative reasons depend on her motivational constitution. On the assumption that there are reasons for emotion I argue that externalism about reasons for emotion entails that all rational agents have reasons to be morally motivated and internalism about reasons for emotion is implausible. If the arguments are sound we can conclude that all rational agents have reasons to be morally motivated. Resisting this conclusion requires either justifying internalism about reasons for (...)
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  • Formalism and Constitutivism in Kantian Practical Philosophy.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):163-176.
    Constitutivists have tried to answer Enoch’s “schmagency” objection by arguing that Enoch fails to appreciate the inescapability of agency. Although these arguments are effective against some versions of the objection, I argue that they leave constitutivism vulnerable to an important worry; namely, that constitutivism leaves us alienated from the moral norms that it claims we must follow. In the first part of the paper, I try to make this vague concern more precise: in a nutshell, it seems that constitutivism cannot (...)
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  • Reasoning Under Scarcity.Jennifer M. Morton - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):543-559.
    Practical deliberation consists in thinking about what to do. Such deliberation is deemed rational when it conforms to certain normative requirements. What is often ignored is the role that an agent's context can play in so-called ‘failures’ of rationality. In this paper, I use recent cognitive science research investigating the effects of resource-scarcity on decision-making and cognitive function to argue that context plays an important role in determining which norms should structure an agent's deliberation. This evidence undermines the view that (...)
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  • Why Care About Being an Agent?Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):488-504.
    The question ‘Why care about being an agent?’ asks for reasons to be something that appears to be non-optional. But perhaps it is closer to the question ‘Why be moral?’; or so I shall argue. Here the constitutivist answer—that we cannot help but have this aim—seems to be the best answer available. I suggest that, regardless of whether constitutivism is true, it is an incomplete answer. I argue that we should instead answer the question by looking at our evaluative commitments (...)
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  • Reflective Equilibrium and Moral Objectivity.Sem de Maagt - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):443-465.
    Ever since the introduction of reflective equilibrium in ethics, it has been argued that reflective equilibrium either leads to moral relativism, or that it turns out to be a form of intuitionism in disguise. Despite these criticisms, reflective equilibrium remains the most dominant method of moral justification in ethics. In this paper, I therefore critically examine the most recent attempts to defend the method of reflective equilibrium against these objections. Defenders of reflective equilibrium typically respond to the objections by saying (...)
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  • Toward an Ethics of Professional Understanding.Nicolas Tanchuk, Carly Scramstad & Marc Kruse - 2016 - Ethics and Education 11 (1):5-16.
    In this paper, we advance a novel conception of normative ethics and draw out its implications within the domain of professional ethics. We argue that all moral agents, and thus professionals, share a fundamental and constitutive normative interest in correctly conceiving of their ends. All professionals, we claim, by virtue of their positions of social power, have special role responsibilities in cultivating and sustaining societies oriented by this shared ideal of practically oriented ethical understanding. We defend this conception against a (...)
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