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N. G. Laskowski
California State University, Long Beach
  1. Moral Constraints on Gender Concepts.N. G. Laskowski - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):39-51.
    Are words like ‘woman’ or ‘man’ sex terms that we use to talk about biological features of individuals? Are they gender terms that we use to talk about non-biological features e.g. social roles? Contextualists answer both questions affirmatively, arguing that these terms concern biological or non-biological features depending on context. I argue that a recent version of contextualism from Jennifer Saul that Esa Diaz-Leon develops doesn't exhibit the right kind of flexibility to capture our theoretical intuitions or moral and political (...)
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  2. Resisting Reductive Realism.N. G. Laskowski - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 15. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 96 - 117.
    Ethicists struggle to take reductive views seriously. They also have trouble conceiving of some supervenience failures. Understanding why provides further evidence for a kind of hybrid view of normative concept use.
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  3. Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics.N. G. Laskowski & Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 536-551.
    A critical survey of various positions on the nature, use, possession, and analysis of normative concepts. We frame our treatment around G.E. Moore’s Open Question Argument, and the ways metaethicists have responded by departing from a Classical Theory of concepts. In addition to the Classical Theory, we discuss synthetic naturalism, noncognitivism (expressivist and inferentialist), prototype theory, network theory, and empirical linguistic approaches. Although written for a general philosophical audience, we attempt to provide a new perspective and highlight some underappreciated problems (...)
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  4. The World is Not Enough.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):86-101.
    Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. (...)
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  5. What Makes Normative Concepts Normative.Shawn Hernandez & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Southwest Philosophy Review 37 (1).
    When asked which of our concepts are normative concepts, metaethicists would be quick to list such concepts as GOOD, OUGHT, and REASON. When asked why such concepts belong on the list, metaethicists would be much slower to respond. Matti Eklund is a notable exception. In his recent book, Choosing Normative Concepts, Eklund argues by elimination for “the Normative Role view” that normative concepts are normative in virtue of having a “normative role” or being “used normatively”. One view that Eklund aims (...)
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    Phenomenal Concepts as Complex Demonstratives.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Res Philosophica.
    There’s a long but relatively neglected tradition of attempting to explain why many researchers working on the nature of phenomenal consciousness think that it’s hard to explain. David Chalmers argues that this “meta-problem of consciousness” merits more attention than it has received. He also argues against several existing explanations of why we find consciousness hard to explain. Like Chalmers, we agree that the meta-problem is worthy of more attention. Contra Chalmers, however, we argue that there’s an existing explanation that is (...)
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    Practical Reasons for Belief Without Stakes.N. G. Laskowski & Shawn Hernandez - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Pragmatic encroachment can be thought of as the idea that knowledge is in some way sensitive to practical considerations, including practical considerations involving what's at stake in getting things right. Recently, Mark Schroeder defends pragmatic encroachment by showing how it could be true. This paper argues that the view proposed by Schroeder is vulnerable to a simple but important objection. It also argues that the objection can be avoided by claiming that there are even more kinds of practical considerations that (...)
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  8. Reductivism, Nonreductivism and Incredulity About Streumer’s Error Theory.N. G. Laskowski - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):766-776.
    In Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer argues via elimination for a global error theory, according to which all normative judgments ascribe properties that do not exist. Streumer also argues that it is not possible to believe his view, which is a claim he uses in defending his view against several objections. I argue that reductivists and nonreductivists have compelling responses to Streumer's elimination argument – responses constituting strong reason to reject Streumer’s diagnosis of any alleged incredulity about his error theory.
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  9. Wronging by Requesting.N. G. Laskowski & Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - In Mark C. Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 11. Oxford:
    Upon doing something generous for someone with whom you are close, some kind of reciprocity may be appropriate. But it often seems wrong to actually request reciprocity. This chapter explores the wrongness in making these requests, and why they can nevertheless appear appropriate. After considering several explanations for the wrongness at issue (involving, e.g. distinguishing oughts from obligation, the suberogatory, imperfect duties, and gift-giving norms), a novel proposal is advanced. The requests are disrespectful; they express that their agent insufficiently trusts (...)
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