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Jeroen Hopster
Utrecht University
  1. The Meta-Ethical Significance of Experiments About Folk Moral Objectivism.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):831-852.
    The meta-ethical commitments of folk respondents – specifically their commitment to the objectivity of moral claims – have recently become subject to empirical scrutiny. Experimental findings suggest that people are meta-ethical pluralists: There is both inter- and intrapersonal variation with regard to people’s objectivist commitments. What meta-ethical implications, if any, do these findings have? I point out that current research does not directly address traditional meta-ethical questions: The methods used and distinctions drawn by experimenters do not perfectly match those of (...)
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  2. Explaining historical moral convergence: the empirical case against realist intuitionism.Jeroen Hopster - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1255-1273.
    Over the course of human history there appears to have been a global shift in moral values towards a broadly ‘liberal’ orientation. Huemer argues that this shift better accords with a realist than an antirealist metaethics: it is best explained by the discovery of mind-independent truths through intuition. In this article I argue, contra Huemer, that the historical data are better explained assuming the truth of moral antirealism. Realism does not fit the data as well as Huemer suggests, whereas antirealists (...)
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  3. Two Accounts of Moral Objectivity: From Attitude-Independence to Standpoint-Invariance.Jeroen Hopster - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):763-780.
    How should we understand the notion of moral objectivity? Metaethical positions that vindicate morality’s objective appearance are often associated with moral realism. On a realist construal, moral objectivity is understood in terms of mind-, stance-, or attitude-independence. But realism is not the only game in town for moral objectivists. On an antirealist construal, morality’s objective features are understood in virtue of our attitudes. In this paper I aim to develop this antirealist construal of moral objectivity in further detail, and to (...)
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  4. Evolutionary Arguments Against Moral Realism: Why the Empirical Details Matter (and Which Ones Do).Jeroen Hopster - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41.
    The aim of this article is to identify the strongest evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and to assess on which empirical assumptions it relies. In the recent metaethical literature, several authors have de-emphasized the evolutionary component of EDAs against moral realism: presumably, the success or failure of these arguments is largely orthogonal to empirical issues. I argue that this claim is mistaken. First, I point out that Sharon Street’s and Michael Ruse’s EDAs both involve substantive claims about the evolution (...)
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  5.  21
    What Are Socially Disruptive Technologies?Jeroen Hopster - 2021 - Technology in Society 67:101750.
    Scholarly discourse on “disruptive technologies” has been strongly influenced by disruptive innovation theory. This theory is tailored for analyzing disruptions in markets and business. It is of limited use, however, in analyzing the broader social, moral and existential dynamics of technosocial disruption. Yet these broader dynamics should be of great scholarly concern, both in coming to terms with technological disruptions of the past and those of our current age. Technologies can disrupt social relations, institutions, epistemic paradigms, foundational concepts, values, and (...)
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  6.  10
    Climate Uncertainty, Real Possibilities and the Precautionary Principle.Jeroen Hopster - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    A challenge faced by defenders of the precautionary principle is to clarify when the evidence that a harmful event might occur suffices to regard this prospect as a real possibility. Plausible versions of the principle must articulate some epistemic threshold, or de minimis requirement, which specifies when precautionary measures are justified. Critics have argued that formulating such a threshold is problematic in the context of the precautionary principle. First, this is because the precautionary principle appears to be ambiguous about the (...)
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  7.  11
    Shall We Adapt? Evolutionary Ethics and Climate Change.Jeroen Hopster - 2020 - In J. Hermann, J. K. G. Hopster, W. F. Kalf & M. B. O. T. Klenk (eds.), Philosophy in the Age of Science? Inquiries into Philosophical Progress, Method, and Societal Relevance.
    In this chapter I zoom in on a topic in climate ethics that has not previously received academic scrutiny: the intersection between evolutionary ethics and climate change. I argue that in the context of climate discourse, an evolutionary perspective can be illuminating, but may also invite moral corruption and reasoning fallacies. Relating my discussion to the general theme of the book, I argue that academic philosophy is well-positioned to fulfil a specific societal role, which is particularly important in the age (...)
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  8.  56
    Striking Coincidences: How Realists Should Reason About Them.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):260-274.
    Many metaethicists assume that our normative judgments are both by and large true, and the product of causal forces. In other words, many metaethicists assume that the set of normative judgments that causal forces have led us to make largely coincides with the set of true normative judgments. How should we explain this coincidence? This is what Sharon Street (2006) calls the practical/theoretical puzzle. Some metaethicists can easily solve this puzzle, but not all of them can, Street argues; she takes (...)
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  9.  28
    Climate Change, Uncertainty and Policy.Jeroen Hopster - forthcoming - Springer.
    While the foundations of climate science and ethics are well established, fine-grained climate predictions, as well as policy-decisions, are beset with uncertainties. This chapter maps climate uncertainties and classifies them as to their ground, extent and location. A typology of uncertainty is presented, centered along the axes of scientific and moral uncertainty. This typology is illustrated with paradigmatic examples of uncertainty in climate science, climate ethics and climate economics. Subsequently, the chapter discusses the IPCC’s preferred way of representing uncertainties and (...)
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  10.  54
    Evolutionary Chance and Contingency: In Search for Systematics: Grant Ramsey and Charles H. Pence : Chance in Evolution. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016, 384 Pp, $45.00, ₤31.50 PB. [REVIEW]Jeroen Hopster - 2017 - Metascience 26 (3):481-485.
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  11.  29
    Future Value Change: Identifying Realistic Possibilities and Risks.Jeroen Hopster - forthcoming - Prometheus.
    The co-shaping of technology and values is a topic of increasing interest among philosophers of technology. Part of this interest pertains to anticipating future value change, or what Danaher (2021) calls the investigation of “axiological futurism”. However, this investigation faces a challenge: “axiological possibility space” is vast, and we currently lack a clear account of how this space should be demarcated. It stands to reason that speculations about how values might change over time should exclude farfetched possibilities and be restricted (...)
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  12.  21
    Mutual Affordances: The Dynamics Between Social Media and Populism.Jeroen Hopster - 2021 - Media, Culture and Society 43 (3):551-560.
    In a recent contribution to this journal Paolo Gerbaudo has argued that an ‘elective affinity’ exists between social media and populism. The present article expands on Gerbaudo’s argument and examines various dimensions of this affinity in further detail. It argues that it is helpful to conceptually reframe the proposed affinity in terms of affordances. Four affordances are identified which make the social media ecology relatively favourable to both-right as well as left-wing populism, compared to the pre-social media ecology. These affordances (...)
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  13.  6
    Soorten bestaan niet.Jeroen Hopster - 2020 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 112 (4):499-502.
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  14.  21
    The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies: Towards a General Framework.Jeroen Hopster - forthcoming - In J. F. de Paz Santana & D. H. de la Iglesia (eds.), New Trends in Disruptive Technologies, Tech Ethics and Artificial Intelligence.
    Disruptive technologies can be conceptualized in different ways. Depending on how they are conceptualized, different ethical issues come into play. This article contributes to a general framework to navigate the ethics of disruptive technologies. It proposes three basic distinctions to be included in such a framework. First, emerging technologies may instigate localized “first-order” disruptions, or systemic “second-order” disruptions. The ethical significance of these disruptions differs: first-order disruptions tend to be of modest ethical significance, whereas second-order disruptions are highly significant. Secondly, (...)
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  15. The Speciesism Debate: Intuition, Method, and Empirical Advances.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Animals 9 (12):1-14.
    This article identifies empirical, conceptual and normative avenues to advance the speciesism debate. First, I highlight the application of Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) as one such avenue: especially where (anti-)speciesist positions heavily rely on appeals to moral intuition, and EDAs have potential to move the debate forward. Second, an avenue for conceptual progress is the delineation of speciesism from other views in its vicinity, specifically from the view that biological differences between species are sometimes morally relevant (‘species-relativism’). Third, if we (...)
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  16.  30
    Why Metaethics Needs Empirical Moral Psychology.Jeroen Hopster & Michael Klenk - 2020 - Critica 52 (155).
    What is the significance of empirical moral psychology for metaethics? In this article we take up Michael Ruse’s evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and reassess it in the context of the empirical state of the art. Ruse’s argument depends on the phenomenological presumption that people generally experience morality as objective. We demonstrate how recent experimental findings challenge this widely-shared armchair presumption and conclude that Ruse’s argument fails. We situate this finding in the recent debate about Carnapian explication and argue (...)
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