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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Famine, Affluence, and Amorality.David Sackris - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):(A1)5-29.
    I argue that the debate concerning the nature of first-person moral judgment, namely, whether such moral judgments are inherently motivating or whether moral judgments can be made in the absence of motivation, may be founded on a faulty assumption: that moral judgments form a distinct kind that must have some shared, essential features in regards to motivation to act. I argue that there is little reason to suppose that first-person moral judgments form a homogenous class in this respect by considering (...)
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  • Moral Motivation Pluralism.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (2):117-148.
    Motivational externalists and internalists of various sorts disagree about the circumstances under which it is conceptually possible to have moral opinions but lack moral motivation. Typically, the evidence referred to are intuitions about whether people in certain scenarios who lack moral motivation count as having moral opinions. People’s intuitions about such scenarios diverge, however. I argue that the nature of this diversity is such that, for each of the internalist and externalist theses, there is a strong prima facie reason to (...)
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  • Aspects of Folk Morality: Objectivism and Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian - 2016 - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. London, UK: pp. 212-224.
    Most moral philosophers work under the assumption that ordinary folk morality is committed to objectivism—that ordinary folk view morality in absolute terms. This datum serves to constrain and shape philosophical metaethics, since those working in this field feel compelled to make sense of it. In this chapter, I discuss why philosophers take on this commitment. I also outline the relevant experimental research exploring whether, and to what extent, ordinary folk think of morality in absolute terms. Finally, I turn toward a (...)
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  • Folk Platitudes as the Explananda of Philosophical Metaethics: Are They Accurate? And Do They Help or Hinder Inquiry?Hagop Sarkissian - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):565-575.
    The field of metaethics, the branch of moral philosophy that examines the nature and status of morality, is rich in theoretical diversity. Nonetheless, a majority of professional philosophers embrace a subset of theories that affirm the existence of objective moral facts. I suggest that this may be related to the very method that philosophers use to construct metaethical theories. This method involves analyzing how ordinary people think and argue about morality. Analysis of ordinary moral discourse is meant to reveal common (...)
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  • Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).
    J. L. Mackie famously argued that a commitment to non-existent objective values permeates ordinary moral thought and discourse. According to a standard interpretation, Mackie construed this commitment as a universal and indeed essential feature of moral judgments. In this paper I argue that we should rather ascribe to Mackie a form of semantic pluralism, according to which not all moral judgments involve the commitment to objective values. This interpretation not only makes better sense of what Mackie actually says, but also (...)
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  • Surveyable Representations, the "Lecture on Ethics", and Moral Philosophy.Benjamin De Mesel - 2013 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 3 (2):41-69.
    I argue that it is possible and useful for moral philosophy to provide surveyable representations of moral vocabulary. I proceed in four steps. First, I present two dominant interpretations of the concept “surveyable representation”. Second, I use these interpretations as a background against which I present my own interpretation. Third, I use my interpretation to support the claim that Wittgenstein’s “Lecture on Ethics” counts as an example of a surveyable representation. I conclude that, since the lecture qualifies as a surveyable (...)
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  • Intuition and Belief in Moral Motivation.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Gunnar Björnsson (ed.), Moral Internalism. Oxford University Press.
    It seems to many that moral opinions must make a difference to what we’re motivated to do, at least in suitable conditions. For others, it seems that it is possible to have genuine moral opinions that make no motivational difference. Both sides – internalists and externalists about moral motivation – can tell persuasive stories of actual and hypothetical cases. My proposal for a kind of reconciliation is to distinguish between two kinds of psychological states with moral content. There are both (...)
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  • Cognitivism, Non-Cognitivism, and Skepticism About Folk Psychology.James Harold - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (2):165 - 185.
    In recent years it has become more and more difficult to distinguish between metaethical cognitivism and non-cognitivism. For example, proponents of the minimalist theory of truth hold that moral claims need not express beliefs in order to be (minimally) truth-apt, and yet some of these proponents still reject the traditional cognitivist analysis of moral language and thought. Thus, the dispute in metaethics between cognitivists and non-cognitivists has come to be seen as a dispute over the correct way to characterize our (...)
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  • The Perceived Objectivity of Ethical Beliefs: Psychological Findings and Implications for Public Policy. [REVIEW]Geoffrey P. Goodwin & John M. Darley - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):161-188.
    Ethical disputes arise over differences in the content of the ethical beliefs people hold on either side of an issue. One person may believe that it is wrong to have an abortion for financial reasons, whereas another may believe it to be permissible. But, the magnitude and difficulty of such disputes may also depend on other properties of the ethical beliefs in question—in particular, how objective they are perceived to be. As a psychological property of moral belief, objectivity is relatively (...)
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  • Mixed-Up Meta-Ethics.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):235-256.
    My topic is the old debate between moral realists and moral expressivists. Although I will eventually adopt a Pyrrhonian position, as usual, my main goal is neither to argue for this position nor to resolve this debate but only to explore some new options that mix together realism and expressivism in various ways. Nothing that I say will be conclusive, but I hope that some of it will be suggestive.
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  • The Empirical Case for Folk Indexical Moral Relativism.James R. Beebe - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4.
    Recent empirical work on folk moral objectivism has attempted to examine the extent to which folk morality presumes that moral judgments are objectively true or false. Some researchers report findings that they take to indicate folk commitment to objectivism (Goodwin & Darley, 2008, 2010, 2012; Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003; Wainryb et al., 2004), while others report findings that may reveal a more variable commitment to objectivism (Beebe, 2014; Beebe et al., 2015; Beebe & Sackris, 2016; Sarkissian, et al., 2011; Wright, (...)
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  • Some Varieties of Metaethical Relativism.Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (10):529-540.
    This opinionated survey article discusses a relativist view in metaethics that we can call Appraiser-standard Relativism. According to this view, the truth value of moral judgments varies depending on the moral standard of the appraiser – that is, someone who makes or assesses the judgments. On this view, when two persons judge that, say, lying is always morally wrong; one of the judgments might be true and the other false. The paper presents various forms of this view, contrasts it against (...)
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  • Implicit Metaethical Intuitions: Validating and Employing a New IAT Procedure.Johannes M. J. Wagner, Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer C. Wright - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-31.
    Philosophical arguments often assume that the folk tends towards moral objectivism. Although recent psychological studies have indicated that lay persons’ attitudes to morality are best characterized in terms of non-objectivism-leaning pluralism, it has been maintained that the folk may be committed to moral objectivism implicitly. Since the studies conducted so far almost exclusively assessed subjects’ metaethical attitudes via explicit cognitions, the strength of this rebuttal remains unclear. The current study attempts to test the folk’s implicit metaethical commitments. We present results (...)
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  • The Irrationality of Folk Metaethics.Ross Colebrook - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-37.
    Many philosophers and psychologists have thought that people untutored in philosophy are moral realists. On this view, when people make moral judgments, they interpret their judgments as tracking universal, objective moral facts. But studies of folk metaethics have demonstrated that people have a mix of metaethical attitudes. Sometimes people think of their moral judgments as purely expressive, or as tracking subjective or relative moral facts, or perhaps no facts at all. This paper surveys the evidence for folk metaethical pluralism and (...)
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  • In Defense of Idealization in Public Reason.Kevin Vallier - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1109-1128.
    Contemporary public reason liberalism holds that coercion must be publicly justified to an idealized constituency. Coercion must be justified to all qualified points of view, not the points of view held by actual persons. Critics, in particular Nicholas Wolterstorff and David Enoch, have complained that idealization, by idealizing away what actual people accept, risks authoritarianism and disrespect by forcing people to comply with laws they in fact reject. I argue that idealization can withstand this criticism if it satisfies two conditions. (...)
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  • Can the Empirical Sciences Contribute to the Moral Realism/Anti-Realism Debate?Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4907-4930.
    An increasing number of moral realists and anti-realists have recently attempted to support their views by appeal to science. Arguments of this kind are typically criticized on the object-level. In addition, however, one occasionally also comes across a more sweeping metatheoretical skepticism. Scientific contributions to the question of the existence of objective moral truths, it is claimed, are impossible in principle; most prominently, because such arguments impermissibly derive normative from descriptive propositions, such arguments beg the question against non-naturalist moral realism, (...)
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  • Objectivity.Ross Colebrook & Hagop Sarkissian - 2018 - In Todd K. Shackelford & Vivian A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.
    In this entry, we outline the ways in which evolutionary theory has implications for the objectivity of morality.
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  • Beyond Objectivism: New Methods for Studying Metaethical Intuitions.Taylor Davis - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (1):125-153.
    Moral realists often assume that folk intuitions are predominantly realist, and they argue that this places the burden of proof on antirealists. More broadly, appeals to intuition in metaethics typically assume that folk judgments are generally consistent across individuals, such that they are at least predominantly something, if not realist. A substantial body of empirical work on moral objectivism has investigated these assumptions, but findings remain inconclusive due to methodological limitations. Objectivist judgments classify individuals into broad categories of realism and (...)
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  • Revisiting Folk Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):455-476.
    Moral realists believe that there are objective moral truths. According to one of the most prominent arguments in favour of this view, ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming, and we have therefore prima facie reason to believe that realism is true. Some proponents of this argument have claimed that the hypothesis that ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming is supported by psychological research on folk metaethics. While most recent research has been thought to contradict this claim, four prominent earlier studies (...)
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  • Absolutely Right and Relatively Good: Consequentialists See Bioethical Disagreement in a Relativist Light.Hugo Viciana, Ivar R. Hannikainen & David Rodríguez-Arias - 2021 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 12 (3):190-205.
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  • Darwin and Moral Realism: Survival of the Iffiest.Knut Olav Skarsaune - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):229-243.
    This paper defends moral realism against Sharon Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” (this journal, 2006). I argue by separation of cases: From the assumption that a certain normative claim is true, I argue that the first horn of the dilemma is tenable for realists. Then, from the assumption that the same normative claim is false, I argue that the second horn is tenable. Either way, then, the Darwinian dilemma does not add anything to realists’ epistemic worries.
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  • No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
    Recently a number of writers have argued that a new form of relativism involves a form of semantic context-dependence which helps it escape the perhaps most common objection to ordinary contextualism; that it cannot accommodate our intuitions about disagreement. I argue: (i) In order to evaluate this claim we have to pay closer attention to the nature of our intuitions about disagreement. (ii) We have different such intuitions concerning different questions: we have more stable disagreement intuitions about moral disputes than (...)
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  • Are Moral Judgements Semantically Uniform? A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Cognitivism - Non-Cognitivism Debate.Benjamin De Mesel - 2019 - In Benjamin De Mesel & Oskari Kuusela (eds.), Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein. New York: Routledge. pp. 126-148.
    Cognitivists and non-cognitivists in contemporary meta-ethics tend to assume that moral judgments are semantically uniform. That is, they share the assumption that either all moral judgments express beliefs, or they all express non-beliefs. But what if some moral judgments express beliefs and others do not? Then moral judgments are not semantically uniform and the question “Cognitivist or non-cognitivist?” poses a false dilemma. I will question the assumption that moral judgments are semantically uniform. First, I will explain what I mean by (...)
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  • Empirical Research on Folk Moral Objectivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (5).
    Lay persons may have intuitions about morality's objectivity. What do these intuitions look like? And what are their causes and consequences? In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have begun to investigate these questions empirically. This article presents and assesses the resulting area of research as well as its potential philosophical implications. First, we introduce the methods of empirical research on folk moral objectivism. Second, we provide an overview of the findings that have so far been made. Third, we (...)
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  • Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano & Don Loeb - 2014 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology inthe last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the largerexperimental philosophy approach. From the beginning,it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Somedoubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it isphilosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best andconfusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance., Before the research program can be evaluated, we should have someconception of (...)
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  • Meta-Ethical Pluralism: A Cautionary Tale About Cohesive Moral Communities.Jennifer Cole Wright - 2015 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38.
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  • Reinventing Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong.Michael Ridge - 2020 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 8 (4).
    I offer new arguments for an unorthodox reading of J. L. Mackie’s Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, one on which Mackie does not think all substantive moral claims are false, but allows that a proper subset of them are true. Further, those that are true should be understood in terms of a “hybrid theory”. The proposed reading is one on which Mackie is a conceptual pruner, arguing that we should prune away error-ridden moral claims but hold onto those already free (...)
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  • Reconsidering the Meta‐Ethical Implications of Motivational Internalism and Externalism.Ragnar Francén - 2020 - Theoria 86 (3):359-388.
    Motivational internalism and externalism – that is, theories about moral motivation – have played central roles in meta‐ethical debate mainly because they have been thought to have implications for the constitutive nature of moral judgements. Thus, internalism and externalism have been adduced in favour of and against various versions of cognitivism and non‐cognitivism. This article aims to question a fundamental presupposition behind such arguments. It has standardly been assumed (i) that if motivational internalism is true then moral judgements must consist (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy, Folk Metaethics and Qualitative Methods.David Moss - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):185-203.
    The file associated with this record is under embargo while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
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  • The Meta-Ethical Significance of Experiments About Folk Moral Objectivism.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):831-852.
    The meta-ethical commitments of folk respondents – specifically their commitment to the objectivity of moral claims – have recently become subject to empirical scrutiny. Experimental findings suggest that people are meta-ethical pluralists: There is both inter- and intrapersonal variation with regard to people’s objectivist commitments. What meta-ethical implications, if any, do these findings have? I point out that current research does not directly address traditional meta-ethical questions: The methods used and distinctions drawn by experimenters do not perfectly match those of (...)
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  • Relativism of Distance - a Step in the Naturalization of Meta-Ethics.Antonio Gaitán & Hugo Viciana - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):311-327.
    Bernard Williams proposed his relativism of distance based on the recognition “that others are at varying distances from us”. Recent work in moral psychology and experimental philosophy highlights the prevalence of folk relativism in relation to spatial and temporal distance. However, Williams’ relativism of distance as well as recent empirical findings which seem to support some of Williams’ main ideas on this issue have received scant attention. In this article, we would like to focus on the phenomenon of moral relativism (...)
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  • Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano, Don Loeb & Alex Plakias - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-32.
    Experimental moral philosophy emerged as a methodology in the last decade of the twentieth century, as a branch of the larger experimental philosophy (X-Phi) approach. Experimental moral philosophy is the empirical study of moral intuitions, judgments, and behaviors. Like other forms of experimental philosophy, it involves gathering data using experimental methods and using these data to substantiate, undermine, or revise philosophical theories. In this case, the theories in question concern the nature of moral reasoning and judgment; the extent and sources (...)
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