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  1. Grading Religions.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Sophia 50 (1):189-209.
    This essay develops standards for grading religions including various forms of spiritualism. First, I examine the standards proposed by William James, John Hick, Paul Knitter, Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and Harold Netland. Most of them are useful in grading religions with or without conditions. However, those standards are not enough for refined and piercing evaluation. Thus, I introduce standards used in spiritualism. Although those standards are for grading spirits and their teachings, they are useful in refined and piercing evaluation of religious phenomena. (...)
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  2. Reason Alone Cannot Identify Moral Laws.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):67-85.
    Immanuel Kant's moral thesis is that reason alone must identify moral laws. Examining various interpretations of his ethics, this essay shows that the thesis fails. G. W. F. Hegel criticizes Kant's Formula of Universal Law as an empty formalism. Although Christine Korsgaard's Logical and Practical Contradiction Interpretations, Barbara Herman's contradiction in conception and contradiction in will tests, and Kenneth Westphal's paired use of Kant's universalization test all refute what Allen Wood calls a stronger form of the formalism charge, they are (...)
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  3. Sentimentalism and Metaphysical Beliefs.Noriaki Iwasa - 2010 - Prolegomena 9 (2):271-286.
    This essay first introduces the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith, and clarifies important differences between them. It then examines whether moral judgment based on the moral sense or moral sentiments varies according to one's metaphysical beliefs. For this, the essay mainly applies those theories to such issues as stem cell research, abortion, and active euthanasia. In all three theories, false religious beliefs can distort moral judgment. In Hutcheson's theory, answers to stem cell research, abortion, (...)
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  4. Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):323-352.
    Examining the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith from the perspective of the is-ought problem, this essay shows that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. According to one interpretation, Hume's or Smith's theory is just a description of human nature. In this case, it does not answer the question of how we ought to live. According to another interpretation, it has some normative implications. In this case, it (...)
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  5. Hume's Alleged Success Over Hutcheson.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Synthesis Philosophica 26 (2):323-336.
    David Hume thinks that human affections are naturally partial, while Francis Hutcheson holds that humans originally have disinterested benevolence. Michael Gill argues that Hume's moral theory succeeds over Hutcheson's because the former severs the link between explaining and justifying morality. According to Gill, Hutcheson is wrong to assume that our original nature should be the basis of morality. Gill's understanding of Hutcheson's theory does not fully represent it, since for Hutcheson self-love and self-interest under certain conditions are permissible, or even (...)
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  6.  84
    On Three Defenses of Sentimentalism.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (1):61-82.
    This essay shows that a moral sense or moral sentiments alone cannot identify appropriate morals. To this end, the essay analyzes three defenses of Francis Hutcheson's, David Hume's, and Adam Smith's moral sense theories against the relativism charge that a moral sense or moral sentiments vary across people, societies, cultures, or times. The first defense is the claim that there is a universal moral sense or universal moral sentiments. However, even if they exist, a moral sense or moral sentiments alone (...)
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  7. That Truth Exists is More Logical.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Think 10 (27):109-112.
    Postmodernists claim that there is no truth. However, the statement 'there is no truth ' is self -contradictory. This essay shows the following: One cannot state the idea 'there is no truth ' universally without creating a paradox. In contrast, the statement 'there is truth ' does not produce such a paradox. Therefore, it is more logical that truth exists.
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  8. The Impossibility of Political Neutrality.Noriaki Iwasa - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):147-155.
    For some contemporary liberal philosophers, a huge concern is liberal neutrality, which is the idea that the state should be neutral among competing conceptions of the moral good pursued by the people. In The Morality of Freedom, Joseph Raz argues that we can neither achieve nor even approximate such neutrality. He shows that neutrality and fairness are different ideas. His notion of neutrality is stricter than John Rawls's and Ronald Dworkin's. Raz shows that both helping and not helping can be (...)
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  9.  97
    Moral Applicability of Agrippa's Trilemma.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):109-128.
    According to Agrippa's trilemma, an attempt to justify something leads to either infinite regress, circularity, or dogmatism. This essay examines whether and to what extent the trilemma applies to ethics. There are various responses to the trilemma, such as foundationalism, coherentism, contextualism, infinitism, and German idealism. Examining those responses, the essay shows that the trilemma applies at least to rational justification of contentful moral beliefs. This means that rationalist ethics based on any contentful moral belief are rationally unjustifiable.
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  10.  81
    Dual Ethics in Romans 13.Noriaki Iwasa - 2010 - Journal of Dharma 35 (2):159-169.
    Seemingly Rom 13 demands the people's unconditional submission to the state. Scholars have provided various answers to the problem which arises when the state's policy contradicts God's teachings. Those answers assume that what is morally wrong for the state to order is morally wrong for the people to follow. However, there can be cases where a state's policy is morally wrong while the people's submission to it is morally right. I distinguish between the ethical standards for the state and those (...)
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