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  1. Authoritatively Normative Concepts.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper offers an analysis of the authoritatively normative concept PRACTICAL OUGHT that appeals to the constitutive norms for the activity of non-arbitrary selection. I argue that this analysis permits an attractive and substantive explanation of what the distinctive normative authority of this concept amounts to. I contrast my account with more familiar constitutivist theories, and briefly show how it answers ‘schmagency’-style objections to constitutivist explanations of normativity. Finally, I explain how the account offered here can be used to help (...)
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  • Authoritatively Normative Concepts.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:253-277.
    This chapter offers an analysis of the authoritatively normative concept PRACTICAL OUGHT that appeals to the constitutive norms for the activity of non-arbitrary selection. It argues that this analysis permits an attractive and substantive explanation of what the distinctive normative authority of this concept amounts to, while also explaining why a clear statement of what such authority amounts to has been so elusive in the recent literature. The account given is contrasted with more familiar constitutivist theories, and briefly shows how (...)
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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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  • Folk Intuitions, Slippery Slopes, and Necessary Fictions : An Essay on Saul Smilansky's Free Will Illusionism.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell. pp. 202–213.
    During the past two decades, an interest among philosophers in fictitious and illusory beliefs has sprung up in fields ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus primarily on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—i.e., the purportedly descriptive claim that most people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim that because dispelling these illusory beliefs would produce negative personal and societal consequences, those of (...)
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  • Replies. [REVIEW]Richard Joyce - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):245-267.
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  • Moral Anti-Realism.Richardn D. Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    It might be expected that it would suffice for the entry for “moral anti-realism” to contain only some links to other entries in this encyclopedia. It could contain a link to “moral realism” and stipulate the negation of the view there described. Alternatively, it could have links to the entries “anti-realism” and “morality” and could stipulate the conjunction of the materials contained therein. The fact that neither of these approaches would be adequate—and, more strikingly, that following the two procedures would (...)
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  • The Requirements of Rationality.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - manuscript
    Requirements of rationality, like the following, have recently been the focus of much discussion: (1) Rationality requires of S that, if S intends that e and believes that e will not be so unless S intends that m, then S intends that m. (2) Rationality requires of S that S not both believe p and believe not-p.1 How many requirements there are and how precisely to state them is a matter of controversy, but I will focus on a different kind (...)
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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2016 - Topoi:1-10.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  • Deliberative Authority and Representational Determinacy: A Challenge for the Normative Realist.Tristram McPherson - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Controversy about the credibility of normative realism is endemic to contemporary metaethics. Some take realism to be “obviously, the default position,” while others, to put it mildly, do not., In the face of such persistent controversy, it can be valuable to step back from the myriad arguments for and against realism, and seek to understand the challenges that face this view in their deepest and most general form. This paper aims to achieve this deeper understanding with respect to a pair (...)
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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):621-630.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  • Fictionalism in Metaphysics.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):786-803.
    This is a survey of contemporary work on ‘fictionalism in metaphysics’, a term that is taken to signify both the place of fictionalism as a distinctive anti‐realist metaphysics in which usefulness rather than truth is the norm of acceptance, and the fact that philosophers have given fictionalist treatments of a range of specifically metaphysical notions.
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  • Folk Intuitions, Slippery Slopes, and Necessary Fictions: An Essay on Saul Smilansky's Free Will Illusionism.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Adam Feltz - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):202-213.
    A number of philosophers have recently become increasingly interested in the potential usefulness of fictitious and illusory beliefs.As a result, a wide variety of fictionalisms and illusionisms have sprung up in areas ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—for example, the purportedly descriptive claim that the majority of people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim (...)
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  • Moral Error Theories and Folk Metaethics.Benjamin Fraser - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):1-18.
    In this paper, I distinguish between two error theories of morality: one couched in terms of truth ; the other in terms of justification. I then present two arguments: the Poisoned Presupposition Argument for ET1; and the Evolutionary Debunking Argument for ET2. I go on to show how assessing these arguments requires paying attention to empirical moral psychology, in particular, work on folk metaethics. After criticizing extant work, I suggest avenues for future research.
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  • Metaethics and Nihilism in Reginster's The Affirmation of Life.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2012 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 43 (1):99-117.
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  • Inference and Action: Relating Beliefs to the World.Javier Gonzalez De Prado Salas - unknown
    The goal of this dissertation is to offer a practice-based account of intentionality. My aim is to examine what sort of practices agents have to engage in so as to count as talking and thinking about the way the world is – that is, what sort of practices count as representational. Representational practices answer to the way the world is: what is correct within such practices depends on the way things are, rather than on the attitudes of agents. An account (...)
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  • Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Conceptual Ethics II.Alexis Burgess & David Plunkett - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1102-1110.
    Which concepts should we use to think and talk about the world, and to do all of the other things that mental and linguistic representation facilitates? This is the guiding question of the field that we call ‘conceptual ethics’. Conceptual ethics is not often discussed as its own systematic branch of normative theory. A case can nevertheless be made that the field is already quite active, with contributions coming in from areas as diverse as fundamental metaphysics and social/political philosophy. In (...)
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  • The Moral Requirement in Theistic and Secular Ethics.Patrick Loobuyck - 2010 - Heythrop Journal 51 (2):192-207.
    One of the central tasks of meta-ethical inquiry is to accommodate the common-sense assumptions deeply embedded in our moral discourse. A comparison of the potential of secular and theistic ethics shows that, in the end, theists have a greater facility in achieving this accommodation task; it is easier to appreciate the action-guiding authority and binding nature of morality in a theistic rather than in a secular context. Theistic ethics has a further advantage in being able to accommodate not only this (...)
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