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  1. Disagreement and Conflict: How Moral and Taste Judgements Do Not Differ.Giulio Pietroiusti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):837-846.
    Eriksson thinks that moral disagreements are intuitively faulty whereas disagreements about taste are intuitively faultless. He attempts to account for this difference by arguing, first, that moral judgements and taste judgements differ with regard to the presence of a disposition to challenge conflicting judgements and, second, that the intuition that a judgement is mistaken consists in the disposition to challenge it. In this article, I focus on the reasons given to support the first claim and argue that they are not (...)
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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. 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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  • Folk metaethics and error.Xinkan Zhao - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Philosophers have in recent years displayed an increasing interest in investigating folk metaethical beliefs using rigorous empirical methods. Taken together, these studies put significant pressure on many philosophical theories that depend on the truth of folk moral objectivism, the view that the folk see morality as objectively grounded. Frequently included among the target of criticism is Mackie’s error theory, or more specifically the conceptual claim thereof. Finding this criticism misplaced, Benjamin Fraser tries to exonerate error theory from such accusation by (...)
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  • Should morality be abolished? An empirical challenge to the argument from intolerance.Jennifer Cole Wright & Thomas Pölzler - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (3):350-385.
    Moral abolitionists claim that morality ought to be abolished. According to one of their most prominent arguments, this is because making moral judgments renders people significantly less tolerant toward anyone who holds divergent views. In this paper we investigate the hypothesis that morality’s tolerance-decreasing effect only occurs if people are realists about moral issues, i.e., they interpret these issues as objectively grounded. We found support for this hypothesis (Studies 1 and 2). Yet, it also turned out that the intolerance associated (...)
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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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  • An empirical argument against moral non-cognitivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (6):1141-1169.
    1. The practice of morality raises the following two closely related questions in semantics and philosophical psychology: What do moral sentences mean? And what does it mean to make a moral judgeme...
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  • Anti-Realist Pluralism: a New Approach to Folk Metaethics.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):53-82.
    Many metaethicists agree that as ordinary people experience morality as a realm of objective truths, we have a prima facie reason to believe that it actually is such a realm. Recently, worries have been raised about the validity of the extant psychological research on this argument’s empirical hypothesis. Our aim is to advance this research, taking these worries into account. First, we propose a new experimental design for measuring folk intuitions about moral objectivity that may serve as an inspiration for (...)
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  • Evolutionary debunking of (arguments for) moral realism.Arnon Levy & Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-22.
    Moral realism is often taken to have common sense and initial appearances on its side. Indeed, by some lights, common sense and initial appearances underlie all the central positive arguments for moral realism. We offer a kind of debunking argument, taking aim at realism’s common sense standing. Our argument differs from familiar debunking moves both in its empirical assumptions and in how it targets the realist position. We argue that if natural selection explains the objective phenomenology of moral deliberation and (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Misunderstanding Metaethics: Difficulties Measuring Folk Objectivism and Relativism.Lance S. Bush & David Moss - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):6-21.
    Recent research on the metaethical beliefs of ordinary people appears to show that they are metaethical pluralists that adopt different metaethical standards for different moral judgments. Yet the methods used to evaluate folk metaethical belief rely on the assumption that participants interpret what they are asked in metaethical terms. We argue that most participants do not interpret questions designed to elicit metaethical beliefs in metaethical terms, or at least not in the way researchers intend. As a result, existing methods are (...)
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  • An Empirical Argument against Moral Non-Cognitivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jen Wright - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to non-cognitivism, moral sentences and judgements do not aim to represent how things morally are. This paper presents an empirical argument against this view. We begin by showing that non-cognitivism entails the prediction that after some reflection competent ordinary speakers’ semantic intuitions favor that moral sentences and judgements do not aim to represent how things morally are. At first sight, this prediction may seem to have been confirmed by previous research on folk metaethics. However, a number of methodological worries (...)
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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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