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  1. 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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  • The Being and Value of Health.Sander Werkhoven - unknown
    The principle aim of this thesis is to provide an account of the nature of health. The starting-point is that health is a normative concept: health implies a standard or norm in relation to which an organism’s state is evaluated. Many philosophers take this to imply that health must be defined in subjective terms. They either think health consists in a certain type of subjective experience, or that health is relative to subjective values and goals. I argue that subjective definitions (...)
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  • Years of Moral Epistemology: A Bibliography.Laura Donohue & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):217-229.
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  • A Defense of the Autonomy of Ethics: Why Value Is Not Like Water.Eric H. Gampel - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):191-209.
    There has recently been a revival of interest in ‘naturalizing’ ethics. A naturalization seeks to vindicate ethical realism — the idea that ethical judgments can be true reflections of a moral reality — without violating the naturalist constraint that science sets the limits of ontology. The recent revival has been prompted by examples of successful scientific reduction, and by the emergence of new, nonreductive naturalist strategies. In this paper, I argue against such naturalist approaches to ethics. My argument builds on (...)
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  • The Explanationist Argument for Moral Realism.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I argue that the explanationist argument in favour of moral realism fails. According to this argument, the ability of putative moral properties to feature in good explanations provides strong evidence for, or entails, the metaphysical claims of moral realism. Some have rejected this argument by denying that moral explanations are ever good explanations. My criticism is different. I argue that even if we accept that moral explanations are (sometimes) good explanations the metaphysical claims of realism do not (...)
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  • Mathematics, Morality, and Self‐Effacement.Jack Woods - 2016 - Noûs.
    I argue that certain species of belief, such as mathematical, logical, and normative beliefs, are insulated from a form of Harman-style debunking argument whereas moral beliefs, the primary target of such arguments, are not. Harman-style arguments have been misunderstood as attempts to directly undermine our moral beliefs. They are rather best given as burden-shifting arguments, concluding that we need additional reasons to maintain our moral beliefs. If we understand them this way, then we can see why moral beliefs are vulnerable (...)
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  • II- Objectivity and Idolatry.Yonatan Shemmer - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):191-216.
    The attempt to vindicate the objectivity of morality tops the list of philosophical obsessions. In this paper I consider the rationality of searching for such a vindication. I argue that the only justification of our efforts lies in our belief in moral objectivity; that this belief can be as well, if not better, explained by wishful thinking and other cognitive biases; that as a research community we have failed to take precautions against such biases; and that as a result we (...)
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  • Moral Facts and the Problem of Justification in Ethics.Stefan Sencerz - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):368 – 388.
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  • Moral Explanations, Thick and Thin.Brendan Cline - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-20.
    Cornell realists maintain that irreducible moral properties have earned a place in our ontology in virtue of the indispensable role they play in a variety of explanations. These explanations can be divided into two groups: those that employ thin ethical concepts and those that employ thick ethical concepts. Recent work on thick concepts suggests that they are not inherently evaluative in their meaning. If correct, this creates problems for the moral explanations of Cornell realists, since the most persuasive moral explanations (...)
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  • Causally Inefficacious Moral Properties.David Slutsky - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):595-610.
    In this paper, I motivate skepticism about the causal efficacy of moral properties in two ways. First, I highlight a tension that arises between two claims that moral realists may want to accept. The first claim is that physically indistinguishable things do not differ in any causally efficacious respect. The second claim is that physically indistinguishable things that differ in certain historical respects have different moral properties. The tension arises to the extent to which these different moral properties are supposed (...)
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  • Ethics and Observation: Dewey, Thoreau, and Harman.Andrew Ward - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (5):591-611.
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  • Naturalism and the Problem of Moral Knowledge.Michael Huemer - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-597.
    Ethical naturalists interpret moral knowledge as analogous to scientific knowledge and not dependent on intuition. For their account to succeed, moral truths must explain observable phenomena, and these explanations (i) must be better than any explanations framed in non-moral terms, (ii) must not rely on ad hoc posits about the causal powers of moral properties, and (iii) must not presuppose the existence of an independent means of awareness of moral truths. No moral explanations satisfy these criteria.
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  • Sturgeon and Brink on Moral Explanations.Ken Yasenchuk - 1994 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):483-502.
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  • Empiricism in Science and Ethics.Stefan Sencerz - 1993 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):449-470.
    We elucidate the conditions under which any hypothesis is explanatorily relevant by analyzing several tests of explanatory relevance and explanations based on those tests. A new causal criterion of explanatory relevance is developed and defended. We show how the causal criterion succeeds in establishing, at the very least, a very strong presumption against moral facts.
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  • واقع‌گرایی در نظام معرفت‌اخلاقی علامه طباطبایی.ابوذر نوروزی & محسن شیراوند - 2018 - حکمت معاصر 9 (1):85-110.
    چکیده علامه­ طباطبایی فیلسوفی کلاسیک بر ممشای حکمت متعالیه و مفسر بزرگ قرآن کریم است اما اندیشه­ی وی در این دو حوزه محدود و متمرکز نشده و در حوزه‌های معرفتی دیگر نیز دارای اندیشه‌های بدیعی است. یکی از این حوزه‌ها فلسفه‌ی اخلاق است. بی‌تردید اصلی‌ترین بحث در فلسفه‌ی اخلاق به تقسیم‌بندی واقع‌گرایی و غیر واقع‌گرایی اخلاقی تعلق دارد. هدف از این پژوهش پردازش این مسأله است که علامه طباطبایی در کدام‌یک از این دسته‌بندی‌ها جای دارد و تبیین آن با کدام (...)
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  • Mythic Religious Naturalism.William A. Rottschaefer - 2007 - Zygon 42 (2):369-408.
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  • Moral Perception.Andrew Cullison - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):159-175.
    : In this paper, I defend the view that we can have perceptual moral knowledge. First, I motivate the moral perception view by drawing on some examples involving perceptual knowledge of complex non‐moral properties. I argue that we have little reason to think that perception of moral properties couldn't operate in much the same way that our perception of these complex non‐moral properties operates. I then defend the moral perception view from two challenging objections that have yet to be adequately (...)
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  • Cornell Realism, Explanation, and Natural Properties.Luis R. G. Oliveira & Timothy Perrine - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):1021-1038.
    The claim that ordinary ethical discourse is typically true and that ethical facts are typically knowable seems in tension with the claim that ordinary ethical discourse is about features of reality friendly to a scientific worldview. Cornell Realism attempts to dispel this tension by claiming that ordinary ethical discourse is, in fact, discourse about the same kinds of things that scientific discourse is about: natural properties. We offer two novel arguments in reply. First, we identify a key assumption that we (...)
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  • Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):238-255.
    There is a long tradition comparing moral knowledge to mathematical knowledge. In this paper, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between knowledge in the two areas, realistically conceived. I argue that many of these are only apparent, while others are less philosophically significant than might be thought. The picture that emerges is surprising. There are definitely differences between epistemological arguments in the two areas. However, these differences, if anything, increase the plausibility of moral realism as compared to mathematical realism. It (...)
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  • Moral Explanation.Brad Majors - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):1–15.
    Discussion of moral explanation has reached an impasse, with proponents of contemporary ethical naturalism upholding the explanatory integrity of moral facts and properties, and opponents--including both antirealists and non-naturalistic realists--insisting that such robustly explanatory pretensions as moral theory has be explained away. I propose that the key to solving the problem lies in the question whether instances of moral properties are causally efficacious. It is argued that, given the truth of contemporary ethical naturalism, moral properties are causally efficacious if the (...)
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  • Can Cornell Moral Realism Adequately Account for Moral Knowledge?Elizabeth Tropman - 2012 - Theoria 78 (1):26-46.
    This article raises a problem for Cornell varieties of moral realism. According to Cornell moral realists, we can know about moral facts just as we do the empirical facts of the natural sciences. If this is so, it would remove any special mystery that is supposed to attach to our knowledge of objective moral facts. After clarifying the ways in which moral knowledge is to be similar to scientific knowledge, I claim that the analogy fails, but for little-noticed reasons. A (...)
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  • The Self-Effacement Gambit.Jack Woods - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):113-139.
    Philosophical arguments usually are and nearly always should be abductive. Across many areas, philosophers are starting to recognize that often the best we can do in theorizing some phenomena is put forward our best overall account of it, warts and all. This is especially true in esoteric areas like logic, aesthetics, mathematics, and morality where the data to be explained is often based in our stubborn intuitions. -/- While this methodological shift is welcome, it's not without problems. Abductive arguments involve (...)
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  • Normative Naturalism on Its Own Terms.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):505-530.
    Normative naturalism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine: there are normative facts and properties, and these fall into the class of natural facts and properties. Many objections to naturalism rely on additional assumptions about language or thought, but often without adequate consideration of just how normative properties would have to figure in our thought and talk if naturalism were true. In the first part of the paper, I explain why naturalists needn’t think that normative properties can be represented or ascribed in (...)
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  • The Moral Parody Argument Against Panpsychism.Zach Blaesi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    I exploit parallel considerations in the philosophy of mind and metaethics to argue that the reasoning employed in an important argument for panpsychism overgeneralizes to support an analogous position in metaethics: panmoralism. Next, I raise a number of problems for panmoralism and thereby build a case for taking the metaethical parallel to be a reductio ad absurdum of the argument for panpsychism. Finally, I contrast panmoralism with a position recently defended by Einar Duenger Bohn and argue that the two suffer (...)
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  • Truth in Ethics and Epistemology: A Defense of Normative Realism.Nathan Nobis - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Rochester
    In this work I defend moral realism, the thesis that there are objective moral truths, by defending “epistemic realism.” Epistemic realism is the thesis that epistemic judgments, e.g., judgments that some belief is epistemically reasonable, or justified, or known or should be held, are sometimes true and made true by stance-independent epistemic facts and properties. -/- One might think that epistemic realism needs no defense because it is obviously true and nearly universally accepted. But there are influential arguments against moral (...)
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  • Thin as a Needle, Quick as a Flash: Murdoch on Agency and Moral Progress.Jack Samuel - 2021 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (2):345-373.
    Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good—especially the first essay, “The Idea of Perfection”—is often associated with a critique of a certain picture of agency and its proper place in ethical thought. There is implicit in this critique, however, an alternative, much richer one. I propose a reading of Murdochian agency in terms of the continuous activity of cultivating and refining a distinctive practical standpoint, and I apply this reading to her account of moral progress. For Murdoch moral progress depends on (...)
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  • Moral Knowledge and the Genealogy of Error.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):455-474.
    In this paper, I argue that in order to explain our own moral reliability, we must provide a theory of error for those who disagree with us. Any story that seeks to vindicate our own reliability must also explain how so many others have gone wrong, otherwise it is not actually a vindicatory story. Thus, we cannot claim to have vindicated our own moral reliability unless we can explain the unreliability of those who hold contrary beliefs. This, I show, requires (...)
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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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  • Moral Explanation and the Special Sciences.Brad Majors - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (2):121 - 152.
    Discussion of moral explanation has reached animpasse, with proponents of contemporaryethical naturalism upholding the explanatoryintegrity of moral facts and properties, andopponents – including both anti-realists andnon-naturalistic realists – insisting thatsuch robustly explanatory pretensions as moraltheory has be explained away. I propose thatthe key to solving the problem lies in thequestion whether instances of moral propertiesare causally efficacious. It is argued that,given the truth of contemporary ethicalnaturalism, moral properties are causallyefficacious if the properties of the specialsciences are. Certain objections are rebuttedinvolving (...)
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  • Really Taking Darwin Seriously: An Alternative to Michael Ruse's Darwinian Metaethics. [REVIEW]William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (2):149-173.
    Michael Ruse has proposed in his recent book Taking Darwin Seriously and elsewhere a new Darwinian ethics distinct from traditional evolutionary ethics, one that avoids the latter's inadequate accounts of the nature of morality and its failed attempts to provide a naturalistic justification of morality. Ruse argues for a sociobiologically based account of moral sentiments, and an evolutionary based casual explanation of their function, rejecting the possibility of ultimate ethical justification. We find that Ruse's proposal distorts, overextends and weakens both (...)
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  • Metaethics and the Empirical Sciences.Richard Joyce - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):133 – 148.
    What contribution can the empirical sciences make to metaethics? This paper outlines an argument to a particular metaethical conclusion - that moral judgments are epistemically unjustified - that depends in large part on a posteriori premises.
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  • Affording Affordance Moral Realism.William A. Rottschaefer - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (1):30-48.
    In this article I elaborate a scientifically based moral realism that I call affordance moral realism, and I offer a promissory note that affordance moral realism is the best current explanation of morality. Affordance moral realism maintains that morality is constituted by the interaction of moral agents and moral affordances. The latter are the natural and social environments in which moral agents’ activities take place and contain the objects of moral agents’ activities whose actualizations are the manifestation of substantive moral (...)
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
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  • Arbitrariness, Divine Commands, and Morality.Stephen J. Sullivan - 1993 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 33 (1):33 - 45.
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  • Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
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  • Naturalism and Moral Realism.Michael C. Rea - 2006 - In Thomas Crisp, David VanderLaan & Matthew Davidson (eds.), Knowledge and Reality: Essays in Honor of Alvin Plantinga (Philosophical Studies Series). Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 215-242.
    My goal in this paper is to show that naturalists cannot reasonably endorse moral realism. My argument will come in two parts. The first part aims to show that any plausible and naturalistically acceptable argument in favor of belief in objective moral properties will appeal in part to simplicity considerations (broadly construed)—and this regardless of whether moral properties are reducible to non-moral properties. The second part argues for the conclusion that appeals to simplicity justify belief in moral properties only if (...)
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  • The Buck Passing Account of Value: Assessing the Negative Thesis.Philip Stratton-Lake - unknown
    The buck-passing account of value involves a positive and a negative claim. The positive claim is that to be good is to have reasons for a pro-attitude. The negative claim is that goodness itself is not a reason for a pro-attitude. Unlike Scanlon, Parfit rejects the negative claim. He maintains that goodness is reason-providing, but that the reason provided is not an additional reason, additional, that is, to the reason provided by the good-making property. I consider various ways in which (...)
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  • A Hard Look at Moral Perception.David Faraci - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2055-2072.
    This paper concerns what I take to be the primary epistemological motivation for defending moral perception. Offering a plausible account of how we gain moral knowledge is one of the central challenges of metaethics. It seems moral perception might help us meet this challenge. The possibility that we know about the instantiation of moral properties in something like the way we know that there is a bus passing in front of us raises the alluring prospect of subsuming moral epistemology under (...)
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  • Two Cornell Realisms: Moral and Scientific.Elliott Sober - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):905-924.
    Richard Boyd and Nicholas Sturgeon develop distinctive naturalistic arguments for scientific realism and moral realism. Each defends a realist position by an inference to the best explanation. In this paper, I suggest that these arguments for realism should be reformulated, with the law of likelihood replacing inference to the best explanation. The resulting arguments for realism do not work.
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  • Debunking and Dispensability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    In his précis of a recent book, Richard Joyce writes, “My contention…is that…any epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended to moral beliefs…will be neutralized by the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere…presupposes their truth.” Such reasoning – falling under the heading “Genealogical Debunking Arguments” – is now commonplace. But how might “the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere… presupposes” the truth of our moral beliefs “neutralize” whatever “epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended (...)
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  • Making Sense of Explanatory Objections to Moral Realism.Elizabeth Tropman - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):37-50.
    Many commentators suppose that morality, objectively construed, must possess a minimal sort of explanatory relevance if moral realism is to be plausible. To the extent that moral realists are unable to secure explanatory relevance for moral facts, moral realism faces a problem. Call this general objection an “explanatory objection” to moral realism. Despite the prevalence of explanatory objections in the literature, the connection between morality’s explanatory powers and moral realism’s truth is not clear. This paper considers several different reasons for (...)
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  • Moral Facts as Configuring Causes.Terence Cuneo - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):141–162.
    The overarching aim of this essay is to argue that moral realists should be "causalists" or claim that moral facts of certain kinds are causally efficacious. To this end, I engage in two tasks. The first is to develop an account of the sense in which moral facts of certain kinds are causally efficacious. After having sketched the concept of what I call a "configuring" cause, I contend that the exercise of the moral virtues is plausibly viewed as a configuring (...)
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  • Moral Facts and Best Explanations.Brian Leiter - 2001 - Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (2):79.
    Do moral properties figure in the best explanatory account of the world? According to a popular realist argument, if they do, then they earn their ontological rights, for only properties that figure in the best explanation of experience are real properties. Although this realist strategy has been widely influential—not just in metaethics, but also in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science—no one has actually made the case that moral realism requires: namely, that moral facts really will figure in the (...)
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  • Metaethics in Context of Engineering Ethical and Moral Systems.Michal Klincewicz & Lily Frank - 2016 - In AAAI Spring Series Technical Reports. Palo Alto, CA, USA: AAAI Press.
    It is not clear to what the projects of creating an artificial intelligence (AI) that does ethics, is moral, or makes moral judgments amounts. In this paper we discuss some of the extant metaethical theories and debates in moral philosophy by which such projects should be informed, specifically focusing on the project of creating an AI that makes moral judgments. We argue that the scope and aims of that project depend a great deal on antecedent metaethical commitments. Metaethics, therefore, plays (...)
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  • Assimilative Moral Realism and Supervenience.Ken Yasenchuk - 1995 - Dialogue 34 (1):75-.
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Moral Niche.Eleonora Severini - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):865-875.
    The so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. When applied to morality, such arguments are intended to undermine moral realism. In this paper I will discuss Andreas Mogensen’s recent effort to secure moral realism against EDAs. Mogensen attempts to undermine the challenge provided by EDAs in metaethics through the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes in biology. The problem with this move is that the proximate/ultimate distinction is misconceived. (...)
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  • Do Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Rest on a Mistake About Evolutionary Explanations?Andreas L. Mogensen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1799-1817.
    Many moral philosophers accept the Debunking Thesis, according to which facts about natural selection provide debunking explanations for certain of our moral beliefs. I argue that philosophers who accept the Debunking Thesis beg important questions in the philosophy of biology. They assume that past selection can explain why you or I hold certain of the moral beliefs we do. A position advanced by many prominent philosophers of biology implies that this assumption is false. According to the Negative View, natural selection (...)
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  • Neo-Kantian Constructivism and Metaethics.Kirk Surgener - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Christine Korsgaard has attempted to defend a distinct approach to metaethics – Neo-Kantian Constructivism. Not only does she present a positive case for her own view, she also attacks existing metaethical positions and even the disctinctions that metaethics has traditionally relied on. This thesis is a sustained examination of this position. I consider whether Korsgaard can legitimately claim to be offering a metaethical position at all, providing her with some defence against the scepticism of some metaethicists. I also examine her (...)
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  • Can Program Explanation Confer Ontological Rights for the Cornell Realist Variety of Moral Realism?Andrew Field - unknown
    In his Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics, Alex Miller considered a defence that might be made on behalf of the moral non-reductive naturalist in response to Gilbert Harman’s explanatory objection, a response that uses Frank Jackson’s and Philip Pettit’s account of ‘program explanation.’ However, Miller went on to argue that program explanation fails to successfully defend the moral non-reductive naturalist against Harman’s objection. Recently Paul Bloomfield and Mark Nelson have argued against Miller that program explanation does in fact successfully defend the (...)
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  • Moral Perception and the Contents of Experience.Preston J. Werner - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (3):294-317.
    I defend the thesis that at least some moral properties can be part of the contents of experience. I argue for this claim using a _contrast argument_, a type of argument commonly found in the literature on the philosophy of perception. I first appeal to psychological research on what I call emotionally empathetic dysfunctional individuals to establish a phenomenal contrast between EEDI s and normal individuals in some moral situations. I then argue that the best explanation for this contrast, assuming (...)
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