Results for 'moral error theory'

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  1. Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons.Richard Rowland - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I defend what I call the argument from epistemic reasons against the moral error theory. I argue that the moral error theory entails that there are no epistemic reasons for belief and that this is bad news for the moral error theory since, if there are no epistemic reasons for belief, no one knows anything. If no one knows anything, then no one knows that there is thought when (...)
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  2. Moral error theory, explanatory dispensability and the limits of guilt.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2969-2983.
    Recently, companions in guilt strategies have garnered significant philosophical attention as a response to arguments for moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and that our moral beliefs are thus systematically mistaken. According to Cuneo (The normative web: an argument for moral realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007), Das (Philos Q 66:152–160, 2016; Australas J Philos 95(1):58–69, 2017), Rowland (J Ethics Soc Philos 7(1):1–24, 2012; Philos Q 66:161–171, 2016) and others, (...)
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  3. Moral Error Theory and the Belief Problem.Jussi Suikkanen - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-194.
    Moral error theories claim that (i) moral utterances express moral beliefs, that (ii) moral beliefs ascribe moral properties, and that (iii) moral properties are not instantiated. Thus, according to these views, there seems to be conclusive evidence against the truth of our ordinary moral beliefs. Furthermore, many error theorists claim that, even if we accepted moral error theory, we could still in principle keep our first-order moral beliefs. (...)
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  4. Is Theism Compatible With Moral Error Theory?StJohn Lambert - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (3):1-20.
    This paper considers whether theism is compatible with moral error theory. This issue is neglected, perhaps because it is widely assumed that these views are incompatible. I argue that this is mistaken. In so doing, I articulate the best argument for thinking that theism and moral error theory are incompatible. According to it, these views are incompatible because theism entails that God is morally good, and moral error theory entails that God (...)
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  5. Moral Error Theory and the Problem of Evil.Chris Daly - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):89 - 105.
    Moral error theory claims that no moral sentence is (nonvacuously) true. Atheism claims that the existence of evil in the world is incompatible with, or makes improbable, the existence of God. Is moral error theory compatible with atheism? This paper defends the thesis that it is compatible against criticisms by Nicholas Sturgeon.
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  6. Moral Error Theory Without Epistemic Error Theory: Scepticism About Second-Personal Reasons.Richard Rowland - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):547-569.
    Proponents of the epistemic companions in guilt argument argue that we should reject the moral error theory because it entails that there are no epistemic reasons. In this paper, I investigate whether a plausible version of the moral error theory can be constructed that does not entail an error theory about epistemic reasons. I argue that there are no irreducibly normative second-personal reasons even if there are irreducibly normative reasons. And epistemic reasons (...)
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  7. Moral error theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (2):93–109.
    The paper explores the consequences of adopting a moral error theory targeted at the notion of reasonable convergence. I examine the prospects of two ways of combining acceptance of such a theory with continued acceptance of moral judgements in some form. On the first model, moral judgements are accepted as a pragmatically intelligible fiction. On the second model, moral judgements are made relative to a framework of assumptions with no claim to reasonable convergence (...)
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  8. Formulating Moral Error Theory.Caleb Perl - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):279-288.
    This paper shows how to formulate moral error theories given a contextualist semantics like the one that Angelika Kratzer pioneered, answering the concerns that Christine Tiefensee developed.
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  9. After Moral Error Theory, After Moral Realism.Stephen Ingram - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):227-248.
    Moral abolitionists recommend that we get rid of moral discourse and moral judgement. At first glance this seems repugnant, but abolitionists think that we have overestimated the practical value of our moral framework and that eliminating it would be in our interests. I argue that abolitionism has a surprising amount going for it. Traditionally, abolitionism has been treated as an option available to moral error theorists. Error theorists say that moral discourse and (...)
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  10. Error Theory and the Concept of Morality.Paul Bloomfield - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):451-469.
    Error theories about morality often take as their starting point the supposed queerness of morality, and those resisting these arguments often try to argue by analogy that morality is no more queer than other unproblematic subject matters. Here, error theory (as exemplified primarily by the work of Richard Joyce) is resisted first by arguing that it assumes a common, modern, and peculiarly social conception of morality. Then error theorists point out that the social nature of morality (...)
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  11. Nietzschean Moral Error Theory.Patrick Hassan - 2021 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (4):375-396.
    Nietzsche has sometimes been interpreted as endorsing an error theory about moral judgements. A host of passages provide prima facie reason for such an interpretation. However, the extent of the appropriateness of this interpretation is a matter of dispute. The parameters of his alleged error theory are unclear. This paper reconsiders the evidence for the view that Nietzsche is a moral error theorist and makes the case that Nietzsche defends a local theory (...)
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  12. A Universal Morality: An account of Moral Objectivity against Moral Error Theory.Utkarsh Rana - manuscript
    Moral error theory is a meta-ethical view that discusses how one makes an error when making a moral judgment or claim. The error resides in the fact that the moral values about which the judgments are made, do not exist in the natural fabric of the world. In the first section of this article, I shall discuss about the moral error theory itself and the claims that it makes. Since the (...)
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  13. Hybridizing Moral Expressivism and Moral Error Theory.Toby Svoboda - 2011 - Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (1):37-48.
    Philosophers should consider a hybrid meta-ethical theory that includes elements of both moral expressivism and moral error theory. Proponents of such an expressivist-error theory hold that all moral utterances are either expressions of attitudes or expressions of false beliefs. Such a hybrid theory has two advantages over pure expressivism, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express beliefs, and (...)
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  14. Epistemology shmepistemology: moral error theory and epistemic expressivism.Stephen Ingram - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):649-669.
    Some philosophers object to moral error theory by arguing that there a parity between moral and epistemic normativity. They maintain that moral and epistemic error theory stand or fall together, that epistemic error theory falls, and that moral error theory thus falls too. This paper offers a response to this objection on behalf of moral error theorists. I defend the view that moral and epistemic (...) theory do not stand or fall together by arguing that moral error theory can be sustained alongside epistemic expressivism. This unusual combination of theories can be underpinned by differences in the foundational norms that guide moral and epistemic inquiry. I conclude that the problem of epistemic normativity fails to show that it is compulsory for us to reject moral error theory. (shrink)
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  15. Demystifying Normativity: Morality, Error Theory, and the Authority of Norms.Eline Gerritsen - 2022 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews, University of Stirling & University of Groningen
    We are subject to many different norms telling us how to act, from moral norms to etiquette rules and the law. While some norms may simply be ignored, we live under the impression that others matter for what we ought to do. How can we make sense of this normative authority some norms have? Does it fit into our naturalist worldview? Many philosophers claim it does not. Normativity is conceived to be distinct from ordinary natural properties, making it mysterious. (...)
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  16. Prudential Parity Objections to the Moral Error Theory.François Jaquet - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 24 (1).
    According to the moral error theory, all moral judgments are false. Until lately, most error theorists were local error theorists; they targeted moral judgments specifically and were less skeptical of other normative areas. These error theorists now face so-called “prudential parity objections”, according to which whatever evidence there is in favor of the moral error theory is also evidence for a prudential error theory. The present paper rejects (...)
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  17. Debunking morality: Evolutionary naturalism and moral error theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):567-581.
    The paper distinguishes three strategies by means of which empirical discoveries about the nature of morality can be used to undermine moral judgements. On the first strategy, moral judgements are shown to be unjustified in virtue of being shown to rest on ignorance or false belief. On the second strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false by being shown to entail claims inconsistent with the relevant empirical discoveries. On the third strategy, moral judgements are shown (...)
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  18. Error-Theory, Relaxation and Inferentialism.Christine Tiefensee - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 49-70.
    This contribution considers whether or not it is possible to devise a coherent form of external skepticism about the normative if we ‘relax’ about normative ontology by regarding claims about the existence of normative truths and properties themselves as normative. I answer this question in the positive: A coherent form of non-normative error-theories can be developed even against a relaxed background. However, this form no longer makes any reference to the alleged falsity of normative judgments, nor the non-existence of (...)
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  19. Wholesale moral error for naturalists.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-13.
    In this paper, I show how realist moral naturalists can provide an intra-theoretic explanation of the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This is a requirement on metaethical theories that has been recently defended by Akhlaghi (2021). After clarifying Akhlaghi’s argument and responding to Evers’s (2021) recent rebuttal, I argue that even under the assumption that moral facts are grounded in an appropriate subset of natural facts (N-facts), there is still a non-zero probability of wholesale (...) error. This is demonstrated by considering three types of epistemically possible scenarios: specifically, it could either be that N-facts do not actually exist, or that N-facts exist in a way that entails wholesale moral error, or that N-facts exist in a non-error theoretic way, but their existence is temporally restricted. (shrink)
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  20. The error in the error theory.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
    Moral error theory of the kind defended by J. L. Mackie and Richard Joyce is premised on two claims: (1) that moral judgements essentially presuppose that moral value has absolute authority, and (2) that this presupposition is false, because nothing has absolute authority. This paper accepts (2) but rejects (1). It is argued first that (1) is not the best explanation of the evidence from moral practice, and second that even if it were, the (...)
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  21. Constructivism and the Error Theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum.
    This paper presents a comparative evaluation of constructivist and error theoretic accounts of moral claims. It is argued that constructivism has distinct advantages over error theory.
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  22. Why Moral Error Theorists Should Become Revisionary Moral Expressivists.Toby Svoboda - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-25.
    Moral error theorists hold that morality is deeply mistaken, thus raising the question of whether and how moral judgments and utterances should continue to be employed. Proposals include simply abolishing morality, adopting some revisionary fictionalist stance toward morality, and conserving moral judgments and utterances unchanged. I defend a fourth proposal, namely revisionary moral expressivism, which recommends replacing cognitivist moral judgments and utterances with non-cognitivist ones. Given that non-cognitivist attitudes are not truth apt, revisionary expressivism (...)
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  23. Are Moral Error Theorists Intellectually Vicious?Stephen Ingram - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):80-89.
    Christos Kyriacou has recently proposed charging moral error theorists with intellectual vice. He does this in response to an objection that Ingram makes against the 'moral fixed points view' developed by Cuneo and Shafer-Landau. This brief paper shows that Kyriacou's proposed vice-charge fails to vindicate the moral fixed points view. I argue that any attempt to make an epistemic vice-charge against error theorists will face major obstacles, and that it is highly unlikely that such a (...)
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  24. On the Possibility of Wholesale Moral Error.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):236-247.
    The moral error theory, it seems, could be true. The mere possibility of its truth might also seem inconsequential. But it is not. For, I argue, there is a sense in which the moral error theory is possible that generates an argument against both non‐cognitivism and moral naturalism. I argue that it is an epistemic possibility that morality is subject to some form of wholesale error of the kind that would make the (...)
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  25. Error Theory and Fictionalism.Nadeem Hussain - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
    This paper surveys contemporary accounts of error theory and fictionalism. It introduces these categories to those new to metaethics by beginning with moral nihilism, the view that nothing really is right or wrong. One main motivation is that the scientific worldview seems to have no place for rightness or wrongness. Within contemporary metaethics there is a family of theories that makes similar claims. These are the theories that are usually classified as forms of error theory (...)
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  26. Review of R. Joyce & S. Kirchin (eds.), A World without Values: Essays on John Mackie’s Moral Error Theory (Springer, 2010). [REVIEW]Diego E. Machuca - 2011 - Philosophy in Review 31 (5):354-358.
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  27. Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense.Eric Sampson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean arguments can be used against nihilists in ethics (...)
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  28. How to explain the possibility of wholesale moral error: a reply to Akhlaghi.Daan Evers - 2021 - Ratio 35 (2):146-150.
    Farbod Akhlaghi (2021) argues that noncognitivists and naturalists cannot explain the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This would show that noncognitivism and naturalism are false. I argue that noncognitivists and naturalists have no trouble explaining the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error and that the requirement to explain this possibility is plausible only on one particular conception of epistemic possibility.
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  29. Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).
    J. L. Mackie famously argued that a commitment to non-existent objective values permeates ordinary moral thought and discourse. According to a standard interpretation, Mackie construed this commitment as a universal and indeed essential feature of moral judgments. In this paper I argue that we should rather ascribe to Mackie a form of semantic pluralism, according to which not all moral judgments involve the commitment to objective values. This interpretation not only makes better sense of what Mackie actually (...)
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  30. A Distinction Without a Difference? Good Advice for Moral Error Theorists.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2013 - Ratio 26 (3):373-390.
    This paper explores the prospects of different forms of moral error theory. It is argued that only a suitably local error theory would make good sense of the fact that it is possible to give and receive genuinely good moral advice.
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  31. An Error Theory for Liberal Universalism.George Tsai - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):305-325.
    This paper examines Bernard Williams’ challenge to liberal universalists (liberals “who assume their morality is universally applicable to everyone”) to provide a theory of error: “a story about the subject matter of political morality and about past people’s situation which explains why those people got it wrong about the subject matter.” It develops a theory of error that appeals to socio-historical conditions of the past to explain their role in making (1) liberal values and reasons epistemically (...)
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  32. How to explain the possibility of wholesale moral error: a reply to Akhlaghi.Daan Evers - 2021 - Ratio 35 (2):146-150.
    Farbod Akhlaghi (2021) argues that noncognitivists and naturalists cannot explain the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This would show that noncognitivism and naturalism are false. I argue that noncognitivists and naturalists have no trouble explaining the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error and that the requirement to explain this possibility is plausible only on one particular conception of epistemic possibility.
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  33. Why formal objections to the error theory are sound.Christine Tiefensee & Gregory Wheeler - 2022 - Analysis 82 (4):608-616.
    Recent debate about the error theory has taken a ‘formal turn’. On the one hand, there are those who argue that the error theory should be rejected because of its difficulties in providing a convincing formal account of the logic and semantics of moral claims. On the other hand, there are those who claim that such formal objections fail, maintaining that arguments against the error theory must be of a substantive rather than a (...)
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  34. 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 (...) theory. (shrink)
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  35. Moral Beliefs for the Error Theorist?François Jaquet & Hichem Naar - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):193-207.
    The moral error theory holds that moral claims and beliefs, because they commit us to the existence of illusory entities, are systematically false or untrue. It is an open question what we should do with moral thought and discourse once we have become convinced by this view. Until recently, this question had received two main answers. The abolitionist proposed that we should get rid of moral thought altogether. The fictionalist, though he agreed we should (...)
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  36. Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory About All Normative Judgements By Bart Streumer. [REVIEW]StJohn Lambert - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):421–425.
    A review of Bart Streumer's "Unbelievable Errors.".
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  37. Mackie’s error theory: A Wittgensteinian critique.Robert Vinten - 2015 - Revista Kínesis 7 (13):30-47.
    I start by arguing that Mackie’s claim that there are no objective values is a nonsensical one. I do this by ‘assembling reminders’ of the correct use of the term ‘values’ and by examining the grammar of moral propositions à la Wittgenstein. I also examine Hare’s thought experiment which is used to demonstrate “that no real issue can be built around the objectivity or otherwise of moral values” before briefly looking at Mackie’s ‘argument from queerness’. In the final (...)
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  38. Beyond the Surf and Spray: Erring on the Side of Error Theory.Joel Marks - 2018 - In Richard Garner & Richard Joyce (eds.), The End of Morality: Taking Moral Abolitionism Seriously. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 94-109.
    Taking as its starting point that morality does not exist (moral error theory), this chapter tries to persuade the reader to eradicate it from her psyche as well (moral abolitionism). It is argued further that the most effective way to rid oneself (and society) of moralist attitudes would be to eliminate moralist vocabulary and manners of speaking and, indeed, to the greatest degree practicable, all normative vocabularies and manners of speaking. This is because moralism lies deep (...)
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  39. Argument and the "Moral Impact" Theory of Law.Alani Golanski - 2019 - Washington University Jurisprudence Review 11:293-343.
    The innovative Moral Impact Theory (“MIT”) of law claims that the moral impacts of legal institutional actions, rather than the linguistic content of “rules” or judicial or legislative pronouncements, determine law’s content. MIT’s corollary is that legal interpretation consists in the inquiry into what is morally required as a consequence of the lawmaking actions. This paper challenges MIT by critiquing its attendant view of the nature of legal interpretation and argument. Points including the following: (1) it is (...)
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  40. "Ought" and Error.Christine Tiefensee - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (2):96-114.
    The moral error theory generally does not receive good press in metaethics. This paper adds to the bad news. In contrast to other critics, though, I do not attack error theorists’ characteristic thesis that no moral assertion is ever true. Instead, I develop a new counter-argument which questions error theorists’ ability to defend their claim that moral utterances are meaningful assertions. More precisely: Moral error theorists lack a convincing account of the (...)
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  41. Evolutionary Naturalism and the Logical Structure of Valuation: The Other Side of Error Theory.Richard A. Richards - 2006 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 1 (2):270-294.
    On one standard philosophical position adopted by evolutionary naturalists, human ethical systems are nothing more than evolutionary adaptations that facilitate social behavior. Belief in an absolute moral foundation is therefore in error. But evolutionary naturalism, by its commitment to the basic valutional concept of fitness, reveals another, logical error: standard conceptions of value in terms of simple predication and properties are mistaken. Valuation has instead, a relational structure that makes reference to respects, subjects and environments. This relational (...)
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  42. Utilitarianism for the Error Theorist.François Jaquet - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (1):39-55.
    The moral error theory has become increasingly popular in recent decades. So much so indeed that a new issue emerged, the so-called “now-what problem”: if all our moral beliefs are false, then what should we do with them? So far, philosophers who are interested in this problem have focused their attention on the mode of the attitudes we should have with respect to moral propositions. Some have argued that we should keep holding proper moral (...)
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  43. Introspection Is Signal Detection.Jorge Morales - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Introspection is a fundamental part of our mental lives. Nevertheless, its reliability and its underlying cognitive architecture have been widely disputed. Here, I propose a principled way to model introspection. By using time-tested principles from signal detection theory (SDT) and extrapolating them from perception to introspection, I offer a new framework for an introspective signal detection theory (iSDT). In SDT, the reliability of perceptual judgments is a function of the strength of an internal perceptual response (signal- to-noise ratio) (...)
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  44. The Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jorge Morales & Hakwan Lau - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 233-260.
    In this chapter, we discuss a selection of current views of the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). We focus on the different predictions they make, in particular with respect to the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during visual experiences, which is an area of critical interest and some source of contention. Our discussion of these views focuses on the level of functional anatomy, rather than at the neuronal circuitry level. We take this approach because we currently understand more about experimental (...)
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  45. 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. (...)
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  46. Bart Streumer, Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory About All Normative Judgements: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. ISBN 9780198785897. Pp. 223. £45.00 Hbk.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):445-447.
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  47. Adopting moral abolitionism.Marc Krellenstein - 2022 - Academia Letters 5298.
    Moral error theory claims that all moral judgments are in error. Moral abolitionism is the view that the error theorist should then eliminate moral talk or judgments. This paper discusses the possible effects of adopting abolitionism on lying, breaking the law, adultery, and murder/revenge.
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  48. Can Pascal’s Wager Save Morality from Ockham’s Razor?Tobias Beardsley - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):405-424.
    One version of moral error theory maintains that the central problem with morality is an ontological commitment to irreducible normativity. This paper argues that this version of error theory ultimately depends on an appeal to Ockham’s Razor, and that Ockham’s Razor should not be applied to irreducible normativity. This is because the appeal to Ockham’s Razor always contains an intractable element of epistemic circularity; and if this circularity is not vicious, we can construct a sound (...)
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  49. Attributing error without taking a stand.Caleb Perl & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1453-1471.
    Moral error theory is the doctrine that our first-order moral commitments are pervaded by systematic error. It has been objected that this makes the error theory itself a position in first-order moral theory that should be judged by the standards of competing first-order moral theories :87–139, 1996) and Kramer. Kramer: “the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. It is not something that can (...)
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  50. Minority Reports: Consciousness and the Prefrontal Cortex.Matthias Michel & Jorge Morales - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):493-513.
    Whether the prefrontal cortex is part of the neural substrates of consciousness is currently debated. Against prefrontal theories of consciousness, many have argued that neural activity in the prefrontal cortex does not correlate with consciousness but with subjective reports. We defend prefrontal theories of consciousness against this argument. We surmise that the requirement for reports is not a satisfying explanation of the difference in neural activity between conscious and unconscious trials, and that prefrontal theories of consciousness come out of this (...)
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