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The function of morality

Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1127-1144 (2017)

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  1. Genealogical Solutions to the Problem of Critical Distance: Political Theory, Contextualism and the Case of Punishment in Transitional Scenarios.Francesco Testini - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (2):271-301.
    In this paper, I argue that one approach to normative political theory, namely contextualism, can benefit from a specific kind of historical inquiry, namely genealogy, because the latter provides a solution to a deep-seated problem for the former. This problem consists in a lack of critical distance and originates from the justificatory role that contextualist approaches attribute to contextual facts. I compare two approaches to genealogical reconstruction, namely the historiographical method pioneered by Foucault and the hybrid method of pragmatic genealogy (...)
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  • Moral Recognition for Workplace Offenses Underlies the Punitive Responses of Managers: A Functional Theoretical Approach to Morality and Punishment.Matthew L. Stanley, Christopher B. Neck & Christopher P. Neck - forthcoming - Ethics and Behavior:1-24.
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  • How Genealogies Can Affect the Space of Reasons.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2005-2027.
    Can genealogical explanations affect the space of reasons? Those who think so commonly face two objections. The first objection maintains that attempts to derive reasons from claims about the genesis of something commit the genetic fallacy—they conflate genesis and justification. One way for genealogies to side-step this objection is to focus on the functional origins of practices—to show that, given certain facts about us and our environment, certain conceptual practices are rational because apt responses. But this invites a second objection, (...)
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  • Decolonizing the Demarcation of the Ethical.Joseph Len Miller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):337-352.
    The question of what distinguishes moral problems from other problems is important to the study of the evolution and functioning of morality. Many researchers concerned with this topic have assumed, either implicitly or explicitly, that all moral problems are problems of cooperation. This assumption offers a response to the moral demarcation problem by identifying a necessary condition of moral problems. Characterizing moral problems as problems of cooperation is a popular response to this issue – especially among researchers empirically studying the (...)
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  • What is (Neo-)Pragmatists’ Function?Sebastian Köhler - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
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  • Bargaining and Descriptive Content: Prospects for a Teleosemantic Ethics.Karl Bergman - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (5):1-23.
    Teleosemantics is the view that mental content depends on etiological function. Moral adaptationism is the view that human morality is an evolved adaptation. Jointly, these two views offer new venues for naturalist metaethics. Several authors have seen, in the conjunction of these views, the promise of assigning naturalistically respectable descriptive content to moral judgments. One such author is Neil Sinclair, who has offered a blueprint for how to conduct teleosemantic metaethics with the help of moral adaptationism. In this paper, I (...)
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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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  • The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  • Communities of Judgment : Towards a Teleosemantic Theory of Moral Thought and Discourse.Karl Bergman - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This thesis offers a teleosemantic account of moral discourse and judgment. It develops a number of views about the function and content of moral judgments and the nature of moral discourse based on Ruth Millikan’s theory of intentional content and the functions of intentional attitudes. Non-cognitivists in meta-ethics have argued that moral judgments are more akin to desires and other motivational attitudes than to descriptive beliefs. I argue that teleosemantics allows us to assign descriptive content to motivational attitudes and hence (...)
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  • Review of The Social Psychology of Morality. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2016 - Metapsychology Online 20 (48):1-8.
    If you put chimpanzees from different communities together you can expect mayhem - they are not keen on treating each other nicely. There is closely related species of apes, however, whose members have countless encounters with unrelated specimen on a daily basis and yet almost all get through the day in one piece - that species is us, homo sapiens. But what makes us get along, most of the time? Morality as such is, perhaps surprisingly, not a mainstream research topic (...)
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