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  1. Weight for Stephen Finlay.Daan Evers - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):737-749.
    According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look at (...)
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  • Moore’s Paradox and Moral Motivation.Michael Cholbi - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):495-510.
    Assertions of statements such as ‘it’s raining, but I don’t believe it’ are standard examples of what is known as Moore’s paradox. Here I consider moral equivalents of such statements, statements wherein individuals affirm moral judgments while also expressing motivational indifference to those judgments (such as ‘hurting animals for fun is wrong, but I don’t care’). I argue for four main conclusions concerning such statements: 1. Such statements are genuinely paradoxical, even if not contradictory. 2. This paradoxicality can be traced (...)
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  • The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
    Bernard Williams's motivational reasons-internalism fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while Derek Parfit's nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. This paper offers an intermediary view, reformulating scepticism about external reasons as the claim not that they don't exist but rather that they don't matter. The end-relational theory of normative reasons is proposed, according to which a reason for an action is a fact that explains why the action would be good relative to some end, (...)
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  • Value and the Right Kind of Reason.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 5:25-55.
    Fitting Attitudes accounts of value analogize or equate being good with being desirable, on the premise that ‘desirable’ means not, ‘able to be desired’, as Mill has been accused of mistakenly assuming, but ‘ought to be desired’, or something similar. The appeal of this idea is visible in the critical reaction to Mill, which generally goes along with his equation of ‘good’ with ‘desirable’ and only balks at the second step, and it crosses broad boundaries in terms of philosophers’ other (...)
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  • A Frege‐Geach Style Objection to Cognitivist Judgment Internalism.Thorsten Sander - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):391-408.
    According to judgment internalism, there is a conceptual connection between moral judgment and motivation. This paper offers an argument against that kind of internalism that does not involve counterexamples of the amoralist sort. Instead, it is argued that these forms of judgment internalism fall prey to a Frege-Geach type argument.
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  • Philosophy of Language for Metaethics.Mark Schroeder - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central to metaethics – and not simply (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Moral Semantics.Justin Khoo & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Noûs:109-143.
    When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories (...)
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  • Expressivism, Inferentialism, and Saving the Debate.Matthew Chrisman - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):334-358.
    This paper addresses the “creeping minimalism” challenge to quasi-realist forms of expressivism by arguing that the solution suggested by Dreier doesn’t work and proposing an alternative solution based on the different inferential roles of ethical and descriptive judgments.
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  • Contextualism in Ethics.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    There are various ways in which context matters in ethics. Most clearly, the context in which an action is performed might determine whether the action is morally right: though it is often wrong not to keep a promise, it might be permissible in certain contexts. More radically, proponents of moral particularism (see particularism) have argued that a reason for an action in one context is not guaranteed to be a reason in a different context: whether it is a reason against (...)
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  • Hybrid Views in Meta‐Ethics: Pragmatic Views.Guy Fletcher - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (12):848-863.
    A common starting point for ‘going hybrid’ is the thought that moral discourse somehow combines belief and desire-like aspects, or is both descriptive and expressive. Hybrid meta-ethical theories aim to give an account of moral discourse that is sufficiently sensitive to both its cognitive and its affective, or descriptive and expressive, dimensions. They hold at least one of the following: moral thought: moral judgements have belief and desire-like aspects or elements; moral language: moral utterances both ascribe properties and express desire-like (...)
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  • Quasi-Expressivism About Statements of Law: A Hartian Theory.Stephen Finlay & David Plunkett - forthcoming - In John Gardner, Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, vol. 3. Oxford University Press.
    Speech and thought about what the law is commonly function in practical ways, to guide or assess behavior. These functions have often been seen as problematic for legal positivism in the tradition of H.L.A. Hart. One recent response is to advance an expressivist analysis of legal statements (Toh), which faces its own, familiar problems. This paper advances a rival, positivist-friendly account of legal statements which we call “quasi-expressivist”, explicitly modeled after Finlay’s metaethical theory of moral statements. This consists in a (...)
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  • Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - forthcoming - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press.
    This paper investigates whether different philosophers’ claims about “normativity” are about the same subject or (as recently argued by Derek Parfit) theorists who appear to disagree are really using the term with different meanings, in order to cast disambiguating light on the debates over at least the nature, existence, extension, and analyzability of normativity. While I suggest the term may be multiply ambiguous, I also find reasons for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported partly by (...)
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  • Disagreement Lost and Found.Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-205.
    According to content-relativist theories of moral language, different speakers use the same moral sentences to say different things. Content-relativism faces a well-known problem of lost disagreement. Recently, numerous content-relativists (including the author) have proposed to solve this problem by appeal to various kinds of non-content-based, or broadly pragmatic, disagreement. This presents content-relativists with a new problem—of found agreement. Which (if any) of these newly identified kinds of conflict is correctly identified as the lost moral disagreement we were looking for? This (...)
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  • Ethical Judgment and Motivation.David Faraci & Tristram McPherson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 308-323.
    This chapter explores the relationship between ethical judgement writ large (as opposed to merely moral judgement) and motivation. We discuss arguments for and against views on which ethical judgement entails motivation, either alone or under conditions of rationality or normalcy, either at the individual or community level.
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  • In Defense of an End-Relational Account of Goodness.Brian Coffey - 2014 - Dissertation, University of California, Davis
    What is it exactly that we are attributing to a thing when we judge it to be good? According to the orthodox answer, at least in some cases when we judge that something is good we are attributing to it a monadic property. That is, good things are “just plain good.” I reject the orthodox view. In arguing against it, I begin with the idea that a plausible account of goodness must take seriously the intuitive claim that there is something (...)
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  • Pessoas virtuosas podem fazer coisas más? Aristóteles entre a idealização e o realismo.João Hobuss - 2018 - Agência, Deliberação E Motivação- Volume 2.
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  • Four Faces of Moral Realism.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):820-849.
    This essay explains for a general philosophical audience the central issues and strategies in the contemporary moral realism debate. It critically surveys the contribution of some recent scholarship, representing expressivist and pragmatist nondescriptivism, subjectivist and nonsubjectivist naturalism, nonnaturalism and error theory. Four different faces of ‘ moral realism ’ are distinguished: semantic, ontological, metaphysical, and normative. The debate is presented as taking shape under dialectical pressure from the demands of capturing the moral appearances and reconciling morality with our understanding of (...)
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  • Oughts and Ends.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
    This paper advances a reductive semantics for ‘ought’ and a naturalistic theory of normativity. It gives a unified analysis of predictive, instrumental, and categorical uses of ‘ought’: the predictive ‘ought’ is basic, and is interpreted in terms of probability. Instrumental ‘oughts’ are analyzed as predictive ‘oughts’ occurring under an ‘in order that’ modifer (the end-relational theory). The theory is then extended to categorical uses of ‘ought’: it is argued that they are special rhetorical uses of the instrumental ‘ought’. Plausible conversational (...)
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  • What Ought Probably Means, and Why You Can’T Detach It.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):67 - 89.
    Some intuitive normative principles raise vexing 'detaching problems' by their failure to license modus ponens. I examine three such principles (a self-reliance principle and two different instrumental principles) and recent stategies employed to resolve their detaching problems. I show that solving these problems necessitates postulating an indefinitely large number of senses for 'ought'. The semantics for 'ought' that is standard in linguistics offers a unifying strategy for solving these problems, but I argue that an alternative approach combining an end-relational theory (...)
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  • The End‐Relational Theory of ‘Ought’ and the Weight of Reasons.Daan Evers - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):405-417.
    Stephen Finlay analyses ‘ought’ in terms of probability. According to him, normative ‘ought's are statements about the likelihood that an act will realize some (contextually supplied) end. I raise a problem for this theory. It concerns the relation between ‘ought’ and the balance of reasons. ‘A ought to Φ’ seems to entail that the balance of reasons favours that A Φ-es, and vice versa. Given Finlay's semantics for ‘ought’, it also makes sense to think of reasons and their weight in (...)
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  • A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language.Caj Strandberg - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):87-122.
    It is often observed in metaethics that moral language displays a certain duality in as much as it seems to concern both objective facts in the world and subjective attitudes that move to action. In this paper, I defend The Dual Aspect Account which is intended to capture this duality: A person’s utterance of a sentence according to which φing has a moral characteristic, such as “φing is wrong,” conveys two things: The sentence expresses, in virtue of its conventional meaning, (...)
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  • Recent Work on Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):331-346.
    Survey of some recent literature on normativity, including nonreductionist, neo-Aristotelian, neo-Humean, expressivist, and constructivist views.
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  • Recent Work in Expressivism.Neil Sinclair - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):136-147.
    This paper is a concise survey of recent expressivist theories of discourse, focusing on the ethical case. For each topic discussed recent trends are summarised and suggestions for further reading provided. Issues covered include: the nature of the moral attitude; ‘hybrid’ views according to which moral judgements express both beliefs and attitudes; the quasi-realist programmes of Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard; the problem of creeping minimalism; the nature of the ‘expression’ relation; the Frege-Geach problem; the problem of wishful thinking; the (...)
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  • Neo-Kantian Constructivism and Metaethics.Kirk Surgener - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Christine Korsgaard has attempted to defend a distinct approach to metaethics – Neo-Kantian Constructivism. Not only does she present a positive case for her own view, she also attacks existing metaethical positions and even the disctinctions that metaethics has traditionally relied on. This thesis is a sustained examination of this position. I consider whether Korsgaard can legitimately claim to be offering a metaethical position at all, providing her with some defence against the scepticism of some metaethicists. I also examine her (...)
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  • Recent Work on Motivational Internalism.Fredrik Björklund, Gunnar Björnsson, John Eriksson, Ragnar Francén Olinder & Caj Strandberg - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):124-137.
    Reviews work on moral judgment motivational internalism from the last two decades.
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  • Hybrid Expressivism and the Analogy Between Pejoratives and Moral Language.Ryan J. Hay - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):450-474.
    : In recent literature supporting a hybrid view between metaethical cognitivism and noncognitivist expressivism, much has been made of an analogy between moral terms and pejoratives. The analogy is based on the plausible idea that pejorative slurs are used to express both a descriptive belief and a negative attitude. The analogy looks promising insofar as it encourages the kinds of features we should want from a hybrid expressivist view for moral language. But the analogy between moral terms and pejorative slurs (...)
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  • Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That ‘Has It Both Ways’.Andrew Morgan - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):785-807.
    In this essay, I propose a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: it is consistent with traditional semantic theories, it supports a form of motivational judgment internalism that does justice to externalist intuitions, it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought, and it explains how speakers can express (...)
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  • The Error In 'The Error In The Error Theory'.Richard Joyce - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):519-534.
    In his paper ?The Error in the Error Theory?[this journal, 2008], Stephen Finlay attempts to show that the moral error theorist has not only failed to prove his case, but that the error theory is in fact false. This paper rebuts Finlay's arguments, criticizes his positive theory, and clarifies the error-theoretic position.
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  • The Error in the Error Theory.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
    Moral error theory of the kind defended by J. L. Mackie and Richard Joyce is premised on two claims: (1) that moral judgements essentially presuppose that moral value has absolute authority, and (2) that this presupposition is false, because nothing has absolute authority. This paper accepts (2) but rejects (1). It is argued first that (1) is not the best explanation of the evidence from moral practice, and second that even if it were, the error theory would still be mistaken, (...)
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  • II- Objectivity and Idolatry.Yonatan Shemmer - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):191-216.
    The attempt to vindicate the objectivity of morality tops the list of philosophical obsessions. In this paper I consider the rationality of searching for such a vindication. I argue that the only justification of our efforts lies in our belief in moral objectivity; that this belief can be as well, if not better, explained by wishful thinking and other cognitive biases; that as a research community we have failed to take precautions against such biases; and that as a result we (...)
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  • Options for Hybrid Expressivism.Caj Strandberg - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):91-111.
    In contemporary metaethics, various versions of hybrid expressivism have been proposed according to which moral sentences express both non-cognitive attitudes and beliefs. One important advantage with such positions, its proponents argue, is that they, in contrast to pure expressivism, have a straightforward way of avoiding the Frege-Geach problem. In this paper, I provide a systematic examination of different versions of hybrid expressivism with particular regard to how they are assumed to evade this problem. The major conclusion is that none of (...)
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  • Relational Good and the Multiplicity Problem.Connie S. Rosati - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):205-234.
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  • The Pragmatics of Moral Motivation.Caj Strandberg - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (4):341-369.
    One of the most prevalent and influential assumptions in metaethics is that our conception of the relation between moral language and motivation provides strong support to internalism about moral judgments. In the present paper, I argue that this supposition is unfounded. Our responses to the type of thought experiments that internalists employ do not lend confirmation to this view to the extent they are assumed to do. In particular, they are as readily explained by an externalist view according to which (...)
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  • Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That ‘Has It Both Ways’.Andrew Morgan - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
    In this essay, I propose a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: it is consistent with traditional semantic theories, it supports a form of motivational judgment internalism that does justice to externalist intuitions, it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought, and it explains how speakers can express (...)
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  • Hybrid Expressivism and Epistemic Justification.Martin Grajner - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2349-2369.
    Epistemic expressivists maintain, to a first approximation, that epistemic assertions express non-cognitive mental states, like endorsements, valuations, or pro-attitudes, rather than cognitive mental states such as beliefs. Proponents of epistemic expressivism include Chrisman, Gibbard, Field, Kappel, and Ridge, among others. In this paper, I argue for an alternative view to epistemic expressivism. The view I seek to advocate is inspired by hybrid expressivist theories about moral judgments, Copp Oxford studies in metaethics, 2009), Finlay, Strandberg ). According to these hybrid views, (...)
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  • The Case of the Disappearing Semicolon: Expressive-Assertivism and the Embedding Problem.Thorsten Sander - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):959-979.
    Expressive-Assertivism, a metaethical theory championed by Daniel Boisvert, is sometimes considered to be a particularly promising form of hybrid expressivism. One of the main virtues of Expressive-Assertivism is that it seems to offer a simple solution to the Frege-Geach problem. I argue, in contrast, that Expressive-Assertivism faces much the same challenges as pure expressivism.
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  • Expressivism, Inferentialism, and Saving the Debate.Matthew Chrisman - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):334 - 358.
    Theoretical reasoning aims to expand our knowledge of how the world is. Practical reasoning aims to expand our knowledge of how to behave in the world as we know it to be. Although this distinction between theoretical and practical reasoning is notoriously central to normative ethical theorizing, its significance has, I think, been underappreciated and misconstrued in the metaethical debate about realism. I suspect that this is the result of two aspects of that debate: (a) the realism debate has been (...)
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  • Motivational Internalism and Folk Intuitions.Gunnar Björnsson, John Eriksson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder & Fredrik Björklund - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):715-734.
    Motivational internalism postulates a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. In arguing for and against internalism, metaethicists traditionally appeal to intuitions about cases, but crucial cases often yield conflicting intuitions. One way to try to make progress, possibly uncovering theoretical bias and revealing whether people have conceptions of moral judgments required for noncognitivist accounts of moral disagreement, is to investigate non-philosophers' willingness to attribute moral judgments. A pioneering study by Shaun Nichols seemed to undermine internalism, as a large majority (...)
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  • Moore’s Paradox and Moral Motivation.Michael Cholbi - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):495-510.
    Assertions of statements such as 'it's raining, but I don't believe it' are standard examples of what is known as Moore's paradox. Here I consider moral equivalents of such statements, statements wherein individuals affirm moral judgments while also expressing motivational indifference to those judgments. I argue for four main conclusions concerning such statements: 1. Such statements are genuinely paradoxical, even if not contradictory. 2. This paradoxicality can be traced to a form of epistemic self-defeat that also explains the paradoxicality of (...)
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  • Moral Relativism in Context.James Beebe - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
    Consider the following facts about the average, philosophically untrained moral relativist: (1.1) The average moral relativist denies the existence of “absolute moral truths.” (1.2) The average moral relativist often expresses her commitment to moral relativism with slogans like ‘What’s true (or right) for you may not be what’s true (or right) for me’ or ‘What’s true (or right) for your culture may not be what’s true (or right) for my culture.’ (1.3) The average moral relativist endorses relativistic views of morality (...)
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