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  1. Moral Deference, Moral Assertion, and Pragmatics.Max Lewis - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):5-22.
    In this paper, I offer a novel defense of moderate pessimism about moral deference, i.e., the view that we have pro tanto reason to avoid moral deference. I argue that moral deference fails to give us the epistemic credentials to satisfy plausible norms of moral assertion. I then argue that moral assertions made solely on the basis of deferential moral beliefs violate a plausible epistemic and moral norm against withholding information that one knows, has evidence, or ought to believe will (...)
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  • Firm Responses to Mass Outrage: Technology, Blame, and Employment.Vikram R. Bhargava - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (3):379-400.
    When an employee’s off-duty conduct generates mass social media outrage, managers commonly respond by firing the employee. This, I argue, can be a mistake. The thesis I defend is the following: the fact that a firing would occur in a mass social media outrage context brought about by the employee’s off-duty conduct generates a strong ethical reason weighing against the act. In particular, it contributes to the firing constituting an inappropriate act of blame. Scholars who caution against firing an employee (...)
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  • Expression and Indication in Ethics and Political Philosophy.Dustin Crummett - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (3):387-406.
    We sometimes have reasons to perform actions due to what they would communicate. Those who have discussed such reasons have understood what an action ‘communicates’ as what it conventionally expresses. Brennan and Jaworski argue that when a convention ensures that expressing the appropriate thing would be costly, we should change or flout the convention. I argue that what really matters is often what attitudes we indicate rather than conventionally express, using social science to show that indicating our attitudes is often (...)
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  • Virtue signalling is virtuous.Neil Levy - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9545-9562.
    The accusation of virtue signalling is typically understood as a serious charge. Those accused usually respond by attempting to show that they are doing no such thing. In this paper, I argue that we ought to embrace the charge, rather than angrily reject it. I argue that this response can draw support from cognitive science, on the one hand, and from social epistemology on the other. I claim that we may appropriately concede that what we are doing is virtue signalling, (...)
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  • Moral Lessons From Psychology: Contemporary Themes in Psychological Research and Their Relevance for Ethical Theory.Henrik Ahlenius - 2020 - Stockholm: Stockholm University.
    The thesis investigates the implications for moral philosophy of research in psychology. In addition to an introduction and concluding remarks, the thesis consists of four chapters, each exploring various more specific challenges or inputs to moral philosophy from cognitive, social, personality, developmental, and evolutionary psychology. Chapter 1 explores and clarifies the issue of whether or not morality is innate. The chapter’s general conclusion is that evolution has equipped us with a basic suite of emotions that shape our moral judgments in (...)
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  • The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    When should you engage with difficult arguments against your cherished controversial beliefs? The primary conclusion of this book is that your obligations to engage with counterarguments are more limited than is often thought. In some standard situations, you shouldn't engage with difficult counterarguments and, if you do, you shouldn't engage with them open-mindedly. This conclusion runs counter to aspects of the Millian political tradition and political liberalism, as well as what people working in informal logic tend to say about argumentation. (...)
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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  • Moral Discourse Boosts Confidence in Moral Judgments.Nora Heinzelmann, Benedikt Höltgen & Viet Tran - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34.
    The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings indicate (...)
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  • Nonassertive Moral Abolitionism.Jason Dockstader - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):481-502.
    Proponents of moral abolitionism, like Richard Garner, qualify their view as an â assertiveâ version of the position. They counsel moral realists and anti-realists alike to accept moral error theory, abolish morality, and encourage others to abolish morality. In response, this paper argues that moral error theorists should abolish morality, but become quiet about such abolition. It offers a quietist or nonassertive version of moral abolitionism. It does so by first clarifying and addressing the arguments for and against assertive moral (...)
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  • The Dark Side of Morality: Group Polarization and Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):87-115.
    This article argues that philosophers and laypeople commonly conceptualize moral truths or justified moral beliefs as discoverable through intuition, argument, or some other purely cognitive or affective process. It then contends that three empirically well-supported theories all predict that this ‘Discovery Model’ of morality plays a substantial role in causing social polarization. The same three theories are then used to argue that an alternative ‘Negotiation Model’ of morality—according to which moral truths are not discovered but instead created by actively negotiating (...)
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  • Moral Criticism and Structural Injustice.Robin Zheng - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):503-535.
    Moral agency is limited, imperfect, and structurally constrained. This is evident in the many ways we all unwittingly participate in widespread injustice through our everyday actions, which I call ‘structural wrongs’. To do justice to these facts, I argue that we should distinguish between summative and formative moral criticism. While summative criticism functions to conclusively assess an agent's performance relative to some benchmark, formative criticism aims only to improve performance in an ongoing way. I show that the negative sanctions associated (...)
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  • Moral Grandstanding and Political Polarization: A Multi-Study Consideration.Joshua B. Grubbs, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi & A. Shanti James - 2020 - Journal of Research in Personality 88.
    The present work posits that social motives, particularly status seeking in the form of moral grandstanding, are likely at least partially to blame for elevated levels of affective polarization and ideological extremism in the U.S. In Study 1, results from both undergraduates (N = 981; Mean age = 19.4; SD = 2.1; 69.7% women) and a cross-section of U.S. adults matched to 2010 census norms (N = 1,063; Mean age = 48.20, SD = 16.38; 49.8% women) indicated that prestige-motived grandstanding (...)
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  • Enforcing Social Norms: The Morality of Public Shaming.Paul Billingham & Tom Parr - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):997-1016.
    Public shaming plays an important role in upholding valuable social norms. But, under what conditions, if any, is it morally justifiable? Our aim in this paper is systemically to investigate the morality of public shaming, so as to provide an answer to this neglected question. We develop an overarching framework for assessing the justifiability of this practice, which shows that, while shaming can sometimes be morally justifiable, it very often is not. In turn, our framework highlights several reasons to be (...)
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  • Resistance as Sacrifice: Towards an Ascetic Antiracism.Musa Al-Gharbi - 2019 - Sociological Forum 34 (S1):1197-1216.
    Often described as an outcome, inequality is better understood as a social process -- a function of how institutions are structured and reproduced, and the ways people act and interact within them across time. Racialized inequality persists because it is enacted moment to moment, context to context -- and it can be ended should those who currently perpetuate it commit themselves to playing a different role instead. This essay makes three core contributions: first, it highlights a disturbing parity between the (...)
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  • Moral Grandstanding as a Threat to Free Expression.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):170-189.
    Moral grandstanding, or the use of moral talk for self-promotion, is a threat to free expression. When grandstanding is introduced in a public forum, several ideals of free expression are less likely to be realized. Popular views are less likely to be challenged, people are less free to entertain heterodox ideas, and the cost of changing one’s mind goes up.
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  • The Problem of Public Shaming☆.Harrison Frye - forthcoming - Journal of Political Philosophy.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Appraisal of the Fairness Moral Foundation Predicts the Language Use Involving Moral Issues on Twitter Among Japanese.Akiko Matsuo, Baofa Du & Kazutoshi Sasahara - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Moral appraisals are found to be associated with a person’s individual differences, and the effects of individual differences on language use have been studied within the framework of the Moral Foundations Theory. However, the relationship between one’s moral concern and the use of language involving morality on social media is not self-evident. The present exploratory study investigated that relationship using the MFT. Participants’ tweets and self-reported responses to the questionnaire were collected to measure the degree of their appraisals according to (...)
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  • The Commitment Account of Hypocrisy.Benjamin Rossi - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):553-567.
    Hypocrisy is widely thought to be morally objectionable in a way that undermines the hypocrite’s moral standing to blame others. To wit, we seem to intuitively accept the “Nonhypocrisy Condition:” R has the standing to blame S for some violation of a moral norm N only if R’s blaming S is not hypocritical. This claim has been the subject of intensifying philosophical investigation in recent years. However, we can only understand why hypocrisy is morally objectionable and has an effect on (...)
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  • Reactionary Moral Fictionalism.Jason Dockstader - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):519-534.
    There is a debate among moral error theorists. It concerns what is to be done with moral discourse once it is believed to be systematically false or untrue. It has been called the ‘now what’ problem. Should error theorists abolish morality or insulate themselves in some way from this nihilistic consequence of belief in error theory? Assertive moral abolitionism aims to have error theorists avoid any insulation and abolish morality altogether. Revolutionary moral fictionalism aims for insulation by having error theorists (...)
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  • Moral Outrage Porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2).
    We offer an account of the generic use of the term “porn”, as seen in recent usages such as “food porn” and “real estate porn”. We offer a definition adapted from earlier accounts of sexual pornography. On our account, a representation is used as generic porn when it is engaged with primarily for the sake of a gratifying reaction, freed from the usual costs and consequences of engaging with the represented content. We demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of generic (...)
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  • Moral Torch Fishing: A Signaling Theory of Blame.David Shoemaker & Manuel Vargas - 2019 - Noûs:online.
    It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why (...)
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  • How to Take Offense: Responding to Microaggression.Regina Rini - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):332-351.
    A microaggression is a small insulting act made disproportionately harmful by its part in an oppressive pattern of similar insults. How should you respond when made the victim of a microaggression? In this paper I survey several morally salient factors, including effects upon victims, perpetrators, and third parties. I argue, contrary to popular views, that ‘growing a thicker skin’ is not good advice nor is expressing reasonable anger always the best way to contribute to confronting oppression. Instead, appropriately responding to (...)
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  • Moral Grandstanding in Public Discourse: Status-Seeking Motives as a Potential Explanatory Mechanism in Predicting Conflict.Joshua B. Grubbs, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi, A. Shanti James & W. Keith Campbell - 2019 - PLoS ONE 14 (10).
    Public discourse is often caustic and conflict-filled. This trend seems to be particularly evident when the content of such discourse is around moral issues (broadly defined) and when the discourse occurs on social media. Several explanatory mechanisms for such conflict have been explored in recent psychological and social-science literatures. The present work sought to examine a potentially novel explanatory mechanism defined in philosophical literature: Moral Grandstanding. According to philosophical accounts, Moral Grandstanding is the use of moral talk to seek social (...)
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  • Relational Sufficientarianism and Basic Income.Justin Tosi - 2019 - In Michael Cholbi & Michael Weber (eds.), The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income. New York: Routledge. pp. 49-61.
    Basic income policies have recently enjoyed a great deal of discussion, but they are not a natural fit with views of distributive or social justice endorsed by many moral and political philosophers. This essay develops and defends a new view of social justice, called relational sufficientarianism, which is more compatible with a universal basic income. Relational sufficientarianism holds that persons in a just society must have sufficient social status, but not necessarily equal social status. It argues that this view offers (...)
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  • Moral Diversity and Moral Responsibility.Brian Kogelmann & Robert H. Wallace - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):371-389.
    In large, impersonal moral orders many of us wish to maintain good will toward our fellow citizens only if we are reasonably sure they will maintain good will toward us. The mutual maintaining of good will, then, requires that we somehow communicate our intentions to one another. But how do we actually do this? The current paper argues that when we engage in moral responsibility practices—that is, when we express our reactive attitudes by blaming, praising, and resenting—we communicate a desire (...)
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  • After Solipsism.David Schmidtz - 2017 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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