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  1. Carla Bagnoli (2000). Blackburn Sulla Questione Normativa”. Iride 30: 8-14.
    Se è un difetto della ragione essere incapaci di adottare certi mezzi, allo stesso modo è un difetto della ragione essere incapaci di adottare certi fini, dicono i kantiani. Secondo Blackburn questa tesi non-strumentalista deve la sua apparente validità ad una fallacia modale. Dal condizionale «Se si adotta il fine X, è necessario adottare il mezzo Y», si deriva il conseguente «Si deve adottare il mezzo Y», ci si interroga sulla natura del modale che occorre nel conseguente, poi si ricostruisce (...)
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  2. Michael Gill (2009). Indeterminacy and Variability in Meta-Ethics. Philosophical Studies 145 (2):215 - 234.
    In the mid-20th century, descriptive meta-ethics addressed a number of central questions, such as whether there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation, whether moral reasons are absolute or relative, and whether moral judgments express attitudes or describe states of affairs. I maintain that much of this work in mid-20th century meta-ethics proceeded on an assumption that there is good reason to question. The assumption was that our ordinary discourse is uniform and determinate enough to vindicate one side (...)
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  3. Patricia Greenspan (2010). Learning Emotions and Ethics. In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.
    Innate emotional bases of ethics have been proposed by authors in evolutionary psychology, following Darwin and his sources in eighteenth-century moral philosophy. Philosophers often tend to view such theories as irrelevant to, or even as tending to undermine, the project of moral philosophy. But the importance of emotions to early moral learning gives them a role to play in determining the content of morality. I argue, first, that research on neural circuits indicates that the basic elements or components of emotions (...)
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  4. Patricia Greenspan (1995). Practical Guilt: Moral Dilemmas, Emotions, and Social Norms. Oxford University Press.
    In its treatment of the role of emotion in ethics the argument of the book outlines a new way of packing motivational force into moral meaning that allows for a ...
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  5. Brent G. Kyle (2013). How Are Thick Terms Evaluative? Philosophers' Imprint 13 (1):1-20.
    Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) conceptually entail (...)
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  6. Philippe Mongin (2006). Value Judgements and Value Neutrality in Economics. Economica 73 (290):257-286.
    The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does.
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  7. James Lindemann Nelson (2010). Book Reviews: Morality and Our Complicated Form of Life: Feminist Wittgensteinian Metaethics. By Peg O'Connor. [REVIEW] Hypatia 25 (1):242-244.
  8. Philip L. Quinn (2002). Obligation, Divine Commands and Abriham's Dilemma. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):459–466.
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  9. Alex Rajczi (2002). The Moral Theory Behind Moral Dilemmas. American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (4):373-383.
    In the last forty years there has been a resurgence of interest in moral dilemmas—situations in which through no fault of a person’s own, he or she is morally required to do one thing, required to do another, but cannot do both. Some prominent figures have argued that such things could be. Opponents have marshaled several anti-dilemma arguments in response. For the most part, this debate has centered on issues in metaethics. Those metaethical questions are interesting, and resolving them could (...)
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  10. Pekka Väyrynen (2014). Essential Contestability and Evaluation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (3):1-18.
  11. Steven E. Wallis (2010). Developing Effective Ethics for Effective Behavior. Social Responsibility Journal 6 (4):536-550.
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal structure of Gandhi's ethics as a way to determine opportunities for improving that system's ability to influence behavior. In this paper, the author aims to work under the idea that a system of ethics is a guide for social responsibility. -/- Design/methodology/approach – The data source is Gandhi's set of ethics as described by Naess. These simple (primarily quantitative) studies compare the concepts within the code of ethics, and (...)
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Meta-Ethics, General Works
  1. Marcus Arvan (2013). Bad News for Conservatives? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Correlational Study. Neuroethics 6 (2):307-318.
    This study examined correlations between moral value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and participant scores on the Short-D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory—a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Five hundred sixty-seven participants (302 male, 257 female, 2 transgendered; median age 28) were recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk and Yale Experiment Month web advertisements. Different responses to MIS items were initially hypothesized to be “conservative” or “liberal” in line with (...)
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  2. Nicholas Baima (2014). The Problem of Ethical Vagueness for Expressivism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):593-605.
    Ethical vagueness has garnered little attention. This is rather surprising since many philosophers have remarked that the science of ethics lacks the precision that other fields of inquiry have. Of the few philosophers who have discussed ethical vagueness the majority have focused on the implications of vagueness for moral realism. Because the relevance of ethical vagueness for other metaethical positions has been underexplored, my aim in this paper is to investigate the ramifications of ethical vagueness for expressivism. Ultimately, I shall (...)
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  3. Peter Boltuc (2007). Why Common Sense Morality is Not Collectively Self-Defeating. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):17-26.
    The so-called Common Sense Morality (C) is any moral theory that allows, or requires, an agent to accept special, non-instrumental reasons to give advantage to certain other persons, usually the agent’s friends or kin, over the interests of others. Opponents charge C with violating the requirement of impartiality defined as independence on positional characteristics of moral agents and moral patients. Advocates of C claim that C is impartial, but only in a positional manner in which every moral agent would acquire (...)
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  4. Andrew Boucher, On Descriptive Ethics.
    In its descriptive sense ethical language allows one to make assertions, which like other assertions may be true or not. “One should not torture,” descriptively, makes an assertion about torture - that it is an act that one should not do. While the peculiar force of ethical language comes from its overloading of different types of uses - descriptive, imperative, and emotive -, our concern here will be with the descriptive. Many of our assertions will focus on the English word (...)
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  5. Michael Brady (ed.) (2011). New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Metaethics occupies a central place in analytical philosophy, and the last forty years has seen an upsurge of interest in questions about the nature and practice of morality. This collection presents original and ground-breaking research on metaethical issues from some of the very best of a new generation of philosophers working in this field.
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  6. Stephen Darwall (1999). Why Ethics is Part of Philosophy. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1:19-28.
    Ethics is frequently divided into three parts: metaethics, normative ethical theory, and the more specific normative ethics. However, only metaethics is explicitly philosophical insofar as it is concerned with fundamental questions about the content, objects, and status of ethical thought and discourse. During the heyday of conceptual analysis, philosophers were admonished to restrict themselves entirely to metaethics. Since, it was said, they lacked any special expertise as philosophers on normative questions, their pronouncements could be no more than hortatory. I will (...)
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  7. Andrzej Elżanowski (2013). Moral Progress: A Present-Day Perspective on the Leading Enlightenment Idea. ARGUMENT 3 (1):9-26.
    Most Enlightenment thinkers believed that the World’s order (as ultimately based on divine laws) is good and thus every gain of knowledge will have good consequences. Scientific process was assumed to entail moral progress. In fact some moral progress did occur in the Western civilization and science contributed to it, but it is widely incommensurate with the progress of science. The Enlightenment’s concept of a concerted scientific and moral progress proved largely wrong for several reasons. (1) Public morality and science (...)
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  8. Jeremy Fantl (2006). Is Metaethics Morally Neutral? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):24–44.
    I argue, contra Dreier, Blackburn, and others, that there are no morally neutral metaethical positions. Every metaethical position commits you to the denial of some moral statement. So, for example, the metaethical position that there are no moral properties commits you to the denial of the (quite plausible) moral conjunction of 1) it is right to interfere violently when someone is wrongly causing massive suffering and 2) it is wrong to interfere violently when only non-moral properties are at stake. The (...)
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  9. Andrew Fisher (2011). Metaethics: An Introduction. Acumen.
    Do moral facts exist? What would they be like if they did? What does it mean to say that a moral claim is true? What is the link between moral judgement and motivation? Can we know whether something is right and wrong? And is morality a fiction? "Metaethics: An Introduction" presents a very clear and engaging survey of the key concepts and positions in what has become one of the most exciting and influential fields of philosophy. Free from technicality and (...)
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  10. Jon Garthoff (2012). Review of Christian Miller (Ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
  11. Chris Heathwood (2013). Reductionism in Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    An encyclopedia entry on the issue of whether morality is reducible -- that is, whether moral facts are identical to facts that can be expressed in non-moral terms.
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  12. Ulrike Heuer (2010). Beyond Wrong Reasons: The Buck-Passing Account of Value. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
  13. Michael Huemer (2005). Ethical Intuitionism. Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral truths; (ii) we know some of these truths through a kind of immediate, intellectual awareness, or "intuition"; and (iii) our knowledge of moral truths gives us reasons for action independent of our desires. The author rebuts all the major objections to this theory and shows that the alternative theories about the nature of ethics all face grave difficulties.
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  14. Matthew Carey Jordan (2013). Divine Commands or Divine Attitudes? Faith and Philosophy 30 (2):159-70.
    In this essay, I present three arguments for the claim that theists should reject divine command theory (DCT) in favor of divine attitude theory (DAT). First, DCT (but not DAT) implies that some cognitively normal human persons are exempt from the dictates of morality. Second, it is incumbent upon us to cultivate the skill of moral judgment, a skill that fits nicely with the claims of DAT but which is superfluous if DCT is true. Third, an attractive and widely shared (...)
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  15. Richard Joyce, Metaethical Pluralism: How Both Moral Naturalism and Moral Skepticism May Be Permissible Positions.
    This paper concerns the relation between two metaethical theses: moral naturalism and moral skepticism. It is important that we distinguish both from a couple of methodological principles with which they might be confused. Let us give the label “Cartesian skepticism” to the method of subjecting to doubt everything for which it is possible to do so—usually by introducing alternative hypotheses that are consistent with all available evidence (e.g., brains in vats). Let us give the label “global naturalism” to the principle (...)
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  16. Machiel Keestra (2012). Bounded Mirroring. Joint Action and Group Membership in Political Theory and Cognitive Neuroscience. In Frank Vandervalk (ed.), Thinking about the Body Politic: Essays on Neuroscience and Political Theory. Routledge. 222--249.
    A crucial socio-political challenge for our age is how to rede!ne or extend group membership in such a way that it adequately responds to phenomena related to globalization like the prevalence of migration, the transformation of family and social networks, and changes in the position of the nation state. Two centuries ago Immanuel Kant assumed that international connectedness between humans would inevitably lead to the realization of world citizen rights (Kant 1968). Nonetheless, globalization does not just foster cosmopolitanism but simultaneously (...)
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  17. Michael Lacewing (2004). Moral Philosophy (Unit 2). In Elizabeth Burns & Stephen Law (eds.), Philosophy for as and A. Routledge.
  18. Hallvard Lillehammer (2011). The Epistemology of Ethical Intuitions. Philosophy 86 (336):175-200.
    Intuitions are widely assumed to play an important evidential role in ethical inquiry. In this paper I critically discuss a recently influential claim that the epistemological credentials of ethical intuitions are undermined by their causal pedigree and functional role. I argue that this claim is exaggerated. In the course of doing so I argue that the challenge to ethical intuitions embodied in this claim should be understood not only as a narrowly epistemological challenge, but also as a substantially ethical one. (...)
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  19. Christian Miller (2013). The Euthyphro Dilemma. In Blackwell International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell. 1-7.
    The Euthyphro Dilemma is named after a particular exchange between Socrates and Euthyphro in Plato‟s dialogue Euthyphro. In a famous passage, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” (Plato 1981: 10a), and proceeds to advance arguments which clearly favor the first of these two options (see PLATO). The primary interest in the Euthyphro Dilemma over the years, however, has primarily concerned the relationship between (...)
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  20. Christian Miller (2011). Resources for Studying Ethics. In , The Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum.
    A list of websites with resources relevant to meta-ethics and normative ethical theory.
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  21. Christian Miller (ed.) (2011). Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum.
    The Continuum Companion to Ethics offers a definitive guide to a key area of contemporary philosophy. The book covers all the fundamental questions asked by meta-ethics and normative ethical theory - areas that have continued to attract interest historically as well as topics that have emerged more recently as active areas of research. Fourteen specially commissioned essays from an international team of experts reveal where important work continues to be done in the field and, most valuably, the exciting new directions (...)
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  22. Christian Miller (2011). Introduction to Contemporary Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethical Theory. In , The Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum.
    The study of morality continues to flourish in contemporary philosophy. As the chapters of this Companion illustrate, new and exciting work is being done on a wide range of topics from the objectivity of morality to the relationship between morality and religious, biological, and feminist concerns. Along with this vast amount of work has come a proliferation of technical terminology and competing positions. The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the terrain in contemporary ethics.
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  23. Daniel Moseley (forthcoming). Review of Robert Kane, "Ethics and the Quest for Wisdom.&Quot;. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Kane's ambitious and bold book presents a sustained argument for an ethical theory that gives an account of right action and the good life. The general structure of the main argument is presented and specific points are critically discussed.
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  24. Sarah K. Paul & Jennifer M. Morton (2014). Of Reasons and Recognition. Analysis 74 (2):339-348.
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  25. Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Wright & Joshua Knobe (2011). Folk Moral Relativism. Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  26. Neil Sinclair (2013). Moral Explanations. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell.
    "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." (Martin Luther King) -/- A moral explanation is an explanation of a particular or type of event (or fact or state of affairs) that features moral terms in the explaining phrase. Here are some examples. First, one way of the above quote is as the claim that, in the broad sweep of history, societies tend toward more just institutions, and that they do so precisely because these institutions (...)
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  27. Holly Smith (1991). Deriving Morality From Rationality. In Peter Vallentyne (ed.), Contractarianism and Rational choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement. Cambridge University Press.
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  28. Michael Smith (2005). Meta-Ethics. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press. 3--30.
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  29. Beckett Sterner (2012). Agent-Based Computer Simulation and Ethics. [REVIEW] Metascience 21 (2):403-407.
    Agent-based computer simulation and ethics Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9660-7 Authors Beckett Sterner, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, The University of Chicago, Social Sciences Building 205, 1126 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  30. Nicholas L. Sturgeon (2003). Moore on Ethical Naturalism. Ethics 113 (3):528-556.
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  31. Jussi Suikkanen (2014). This is Ethics: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
    What makes you happy? Should you always do what is best for you, or what is best for everyone? What is the meaning of life – and how are we supposed to think about it? Should sacrifices be made to help future generations? This Is Ethics presents an accessible and engaging introduction to a variety of issues relating to contemporary moral philosophy. It reveals the intimate connection between timeless philosophical problems about right and wrong and offers timely and thought-provoking insights (...)
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  32. John J. Tilley (2005). Living Philosophy: An Introduction to Moral Thought, Third Edition. [REVIEW] Philosophia 33 (1-4):335-341.
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Meta-Ethics, Misc
  1. Zed Adams (2007). Primates and Philosophers by de Waal, Frans. [REVIEW] Ethics 117 (3).
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  2. Zed Adams (2007). The Evolution of Morality by Joyce, Richard. [REVIEW] Ethics 117 (2).
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  3. Chrisoula Andreou (2007). Non-Relative Reasons and Humean Thought: If What is a Reason for You is a Reason for Me, Where Does That Leave the Humean? Metaphilosophy 38 (5):654-668.
  4. Chrisoula Andreou (2006). Standards, Advice, and Practical Reason. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):57-67.
    Is there a mode of sincere advice in which the standards of the adviser are put aside in favor of the standards of the advisee? I consider two sorts of cases that appear to be such that the adviser is evaluating things from within the advisee’s system of standards even though this system conflicts with her own; and I argue that these cases are best interpreted in ways that dissolve this appearance. I then argue that the nature of sincere advice (...)
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  5. Marcus Arvan (2013). “A Lot More Bad News for Conservatives, and a Little Bit of Bad News for Liberals? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Follow-Up Study”. Neuroethics 6 (1):51-64.
    In a recent study appearing in Neuroethics, I reported observing 11 significant correlations between the “Dark Triad” personality traits – Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy – and “conservative” judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey. Surprisingly, I observed no significant correlations between the Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments. In order to determine whether these results were an artifact of the particular issues I selected, I ran a follow-up study testing the Dark Triad against conservative and liberal judgments on 15 additional moral (...)
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  6. Simon Beck (2010). Morals, Metaphysics and the Method of Cases. South African Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):332-342.
    In this paper I discuss a set of problems concerning the method of cases as it is used in applied ethics and in the metaphysical debate about personal identity. These problems stem from research in social psychology concerning our access to the data with which the method operates. I argue that the issues facing ethics are more worrying than those facing metaphysics.
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  7. Simon Beck (2009). Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments. South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.
    Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for her thought-experiment. I also argue that (...)
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