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Meta-Ethics

Edited by Daniel Star (Boston University)
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  1. added 2016-08-24
    Christine Tappolet (2016). Emotions, Values, and Agency. Oxford University Press.
    The emotions we experience are crucial to who we are, to what we think, and to what we do. But what are emotions, exactly, and how do they relate to agency? The aim of this book is to spell out an account of emotions, which is grounded on analogies between emotions and sensory experiences, and to explore the implications of this account for our understanding of human agency. The central claim is that emotions consist in perceptual experiences of values, such (...)
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  2. added 2016-08-24
    A. Kalis & G. Meynen (2014). Mental Disorder and Legal Responsibility: The Relevance of Stages of Decision-Making. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 37 (6):601-8.
  3. added 2016-08-22
    Leland F. Saunders (2016). Reason and Emotion, Not Reason or Emotion in Moral Judgment. Philosophical Explorations:1-16.
    One of the central questions in both metaethics and empirical moral psychology is whether moral judgments are the products of reason or emotions. This way of putting the question relies on an overly simplified view of reason and emotion as two fully independent cognitive faculties whose causal contributions to moral judgment can be cleanly separated. However, there is a significant body of evidence in the cognitive sciences that seriously undercuts this conception of reason and emotion, and supports the view that (...)
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  4. added 2016-08-22
    Eric Sampson (2015). Against Scanlon's Theory of the Strength of Practical Reasons. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy:1-6.
    We often say that one reason is stronger, or weightier, than another. These are metaphors. What does normative strength or weight really consist in? Scanlon (2014) offers a novel answer to this question. His answer appeals to counterfactuals of various kinds. I argue that appealing to counterfactuals leads to deep problems for his view.
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  5. added 2016-08-19
    Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini (forthcoming). Why We Can Still Believe the Error Theory. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-14.
  6. added 2016-08-19
    Michael J. Zimmerman (2016). Moral Responsibility and the Moral Community: Is Moral Responsibility Essentially Interpersonal? Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):247-263.
    Many philosophers endorse the idea that there can be no moral responsibility without a moral community and thus hold that such responsibility is essentially interpersonal. In this paper, various interpretations of this idea are distinguished, and it is argued that no interpretation of it captures a significant truth. The popular view that moral responsibility consists in answerability is discussed and dismissed. The even more popular view that such responsibility consists in susceptibility to the reactive attitudes is also discussed, and it (...)
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  7. added 2016-08-19
    Raimo Tuomela & Pekka Mäkelä (2016). Group Agents and Their Responsibility. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):299-316.
    Group agents are able to act but are not literally agents. Some group agents, e.g., we-mode groups and corporations, can, however, be regarded as functional group agents that do not have “intrinsic” mental states and phenomenal features comparable to what their individual members on biological and psychological grounds have. But they can have “extrinsic” mental states, states collectively attributed to them—primarily by their members. In this paper, we discuss the responsibility of such group agents. We defend the view that if (...)
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  8. added 2016-08-19
    Robert Kane (2016). Moral Responsibility, Reactive Attitudes and Freedom of Will. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):229-246.
    In his influential paper, “Freedom and Resentment,” P. F. Strawson argued that our ordinary practices of holding persons morally responsible and related reactive attitudes were wholly “internal” to the practices themselves and could be insulated from traditional philosophical and metaphysical concerns, including concerns about free will and determinism. This “insulation thesis” is a controversial feature of Strawson’s influential paper; and it has had numerous critics. The first purpose of this paper is to explain my own reasons for thinking that our (...)
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  9. added 2016-08-19
    Matthé Scholten (2013). Geen verwijt zonder fout: een kantiaans-strawsoniaanse visie op morele uitkomstenverantwoordelijkheid. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 105 (4):249-253.
  10. added 2016-08-18
    Patricia Greenspan (2016). Responsible Psychopaths Revisited. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):265-278.
    This paper updates, modifies, and extends an account of psychopaths’ responsibility and blameworthiness that depends on behavioral control rather than moral knowledge. Philosophers mainly focus on whether psychopaths can be said to grasp moral rules as such, whereas it seems to be important to their blameworthiness that typical psychopaths are hampered by impulsivity and other barriers to exercising self-control. I begin by discussing an atypical case, for contrast, of a young man who was diagnosed as a psychopath at one point (...)
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  11. added 2016-08-18
    Keith Lehrer (2016). Freedom of Preference: A Defense of Compatiblism. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):35-46.
    Harry G. Frankfurt has presented a case of a counterfactual intervener CI with knowledge and power to control an agent so he will do A. He concludes that if the agent prefers to do A and there is no intervention by CI, the agent has acted of his own free will and is morally responsible for doing A, though he lacked an alternative possibility. I consider the consequences for freedom and moral responsibility of CI having a complete plan P for (...)
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  12. added 2016-08-18
    J. Angelo Corlett (2016). Responsibility. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):1-33.
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  13. added 2016-08-18
    Gideon Yaffe (2016). Desert for Wrongdoing. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):149-171.
    Much government and personal conduct is premised on the idea that a person made thereby to suffer deserves that suffering thanks to prior wrongdoing by him. Further, it often appears that one kind of suffering is more deserved than another and, in light of that, conduct inflicting the first is superior, or closer to being justified than conduct inflicting the second. Yet desert is mysterious. It is far from obvious what, exactly, it is. This paper offers and argues for a (...)
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  14. added 2016-08-18
    Michael Smith (2016). Romance and Responsibility in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”. Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):317-339.
    Reflection on the wrongs done by characters in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Manhattan” helps us get clear about the evidence required to judge them responsible and so liable to blame them for those wrongs. On the positive side, what is required is evidence that trust remains a possibility, despite the fact that they wrong, and this in turn requires evidence that the wrongdoer had, but failed to exercise, the capacity to do the right thing when they did that wrong. On (...)
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  15. added 2016-08-18
    Guy Fletcher (2016). Moral Testimony: Once More With Feeling. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: volume 11. Oxford University Press 45-73..
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  16. added 2016-08-17
    Yuri Cath (2016). Reflective Equilibrium. In H. Cappelen, T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press 213-230.
    This article examines the method of reflective equilibrium (RE) and its role in philosophical inquiry. It begins with an overview of RE before discussing some of the subtleties involved in its interpretation, including challenges to the standard assumption that RE is a form of coherentism. It then evaluates some of the main objections to RE, in particular, the criticism that this method generates unreasonable beliefs. It concludes by considering how RE relates to recent debates about the role of intuitions in (...)
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  17. added 2016-08-16
    Pete Fossey (2015). Illusions of Value. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy:01-06.
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  18. added 2016-08-15
    Richard Joyce (forthcoming). Reply to ‘On the Validity of a Simple Argument for Moral Error Theory’. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-5.
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  19. added 2016-08-15
    Kasper Højbjerg Christensen (forthcoming). On The Validity of a Simple Argument for Moral Error Theory. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (4):1-10.
    In 'The Myth of Morality' Richard Joyce presents a simple and very influential argument for the truth of moral error theory. In this paper I point out that the argument does not have the form Joyce attributes to it, the argument is not valid in an extensional propositional logic and on the most natural way of explicating the meanings of the involved terms, it remains invalid. I conclude that more explanation is needed if we are to accept this particular argument (...)
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  20. added 2016-08-15
    Wouter Kalf (forthcoming). Against Hybrid Expressivist-Error Theory. Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
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  21. added 2016-08-15
    Jonas Olson (2016). Précis of Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence. Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (4):397-402.
    _ Source: _Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 397 - 402 Moral error theorists and moral realists agree about several disputed metaethical issues. They typically agree that ordinary moral judgments are beliefs and that ordinary moral utterances purport to refer to moral facts. But they disagree on the crucial ontological question of whether there are any moral facts. Moral error theorists hold that there are not and that, as a consequence, ordinary moral beliefs are systematically mistaken and ordinary moral judgments uniformly (...)
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  22. added 2016-08-11
    Caroline T. Arruda (forthcoming). Constitutivism and the Self-Reflection Requirement. Philosophia.
    Constitutivists explicitly emphasize the importance of self-reflection in a variety of ways. For Korsgaard (1996: Lecture 3; 2009: 25-ff), it is a necessary feature of the process of deciding which principles we want to guide our actions and to comprise the kinds of agents that we become. For Velleman (1989: 32; 2000a: 193), it is a product of the constitutivist aim of autonomy (or, later (2006a), the aim of intelligibility) that we have in action. Interestingly enough, however, there is no (...)
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  23. added 2016-08-11
    Facundo M. Alonso (2016). A Dual Aspect Theory of Shared Intention. Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):271–302.
    In this article I propose an original view of the nature of shared intention. In contrast to psychological views (Bratman, Searle, Tuomela) and normative views (Gilbert), I argue that both functional roles played by attitudes of individual participants and interpersonal obligations are factors of central and independent significance for explaining what shared intention is. It is widely agreed that shared intention (I) normally motivates participants to act, and (II) normally creates obligations between them. I argue that the view I propose (...)
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  24. added 2016-08-08
    Bianca Cepollaro (2015). In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs. Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. Despite these (...)
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  25. added 2016-08-06
    Jeremiah Joven Joaquin (2013). An Introduction to Metaethics. In Exploring the Philosophical Terrain. C&E
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  26. added 2016-08-04
    Danielle Bromwich (2016). Motivational Internalism and the Challenge of Amoralism. European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):452-471.
    Motivational internalism is the thesis that captures the commonplace thought that moral judgements are necessarily motivationally efficacious. But this thesis appears to be in tension with another aspect of our ordinary moral experience. Proponents of the contrast thesis, motivational externalism, cite everyday examples of amoralism to demonstrate that it is conceptually possible to be completely unmoved by what seem to be sincere first-person moral judgements. This paper argues that the challenge of amoralism gives us no reason to reject or modify (...)
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  27. added 2016-08-04
    Dal-Wha Namkung (2004). Moral Motivation and Moral Education. Journal of Moral Education 16 (1):117.
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  28. added 2016-08-02
    Clarke-Doane Justin (forthcoming). Objectivity and Reliability. Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    Scanlon’s Being Realistic about Reasons (BRR) is a beautiful book – sleek, sophisticated, and programmatic. One of its key aims is to demystify knowledge of normative and mathematical truths. In this paper, I develop an epistemological challenge that Scanlon fails to explicitly address. I argue that his “metaphysical pluralism” can be understood as a response to that challenge. However, it affords an answer to the challenge only if it undercuts the objectivity of normative and mathematical inquiry.
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  29. added 2016-07-30
    Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini (forthcoming). Why We Can Still Believe the Error Theory. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-14.
    The error theory is a metaethical theory that maintains that normative judgments are beliefs that ascribe normative properties, and that these properties do not exist. In a recent paper, Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible to fully believe the error theory. Surprisingly, he claims that this is not a problem for the error theorist: even if we can’t fully believe the error theory, the good news is that we can still come close to believing the error theory. In this (...)
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  30. added 2016-07-27
    Michael R. Kelly (2013). A Reading of Two Sources of Morality and Religion, or Bergsonian Wisdom, Emotion, and Integrity. In P. Adroin, S. Gontarski & L. Pattison (eds.), Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism. Bloomsbury
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  31. added 2016-07-26
    Erick Ramirez (forthcoming). Neurosurgery for Psychopaths? The Problems of Empathy and Neurodiversity. American Journal of Bioethics: Ajob.
    I argue that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a bad approach for incarcerated psychopaths for two reasons. First, given what we know about psychopathy, empathy, and DBS, it is unlikely to function as an effective treatment for the moral problems that characterize psychopathy. Second, considerations of neurodiversity speak against seeing psychopathy as a mental illness in the first place.
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  32. added 2016-07-26
    Jihan Lyou (2015). Biologicization of Ethics: Beyond Naturalistic Fallacy and Counter-Naturalistic Fallacy. Journal of Ethics 1 (103):1-30.
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  33. added 2016-07-26
    Michael Augros & Christopher Oleson (2013). St. Thomas and the Naturalistic Fallacy. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13 (4):637-661.
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  34. added 2016-07-24
    Joshua Schechter (forthcoming). Explanatory Challenges in Metaethics. In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge
    There are several important arguments in metaethics that rely on explanatory considerations. Gilbert Harman has presented a challenge to the existence of moral facts that depends on the claim that the best explanation of our moral beliefs does not involve moral facts. The Reliability Challenge against moral realism depends on the claim that moral realism is incompatible with there being a satisfying explanation of our reliability about moral truths. The purpose of this chapter is to examine these and related arguments. (...)
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  35. added 2016-07-21
    E. Taku (2016). AN INTIMATE INSIGHT ON PSYCHOPATHY AND A NOVEL HERMENEUTIC PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. SSRN Electronic Journal 9 (7):entire issue.
    This paper is rather a profound hermeneutic enunciation putting into question our present understanding of psychopathy. It further articulates, in complement, a novel theoretical and methodological conceptualisation for a hermeneutic psychological science. Methodology-wise, it puts into question a traditional more or less categorical and mechanical approach to the social and behavioural sciences as it strives to introduce a creative and insightful approach for the articulation of ideas. It rather seeks to construe the scientific method as being more about falsifiability and (...)
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  36. added 2016-07-20
    Gunnar Björnsson (forthcoming). The Significance of Ethical Disagreement for Theories of Ethical Thought and Talk. In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge
    This chapter has two sections, each focusing on a distinct way in which ethical disagreement and variations in ethical judgment matter for theories of ethical thought and talk. In the first section, we look at how the variation poses problems for both cognitivist and non-cognitivist ways of specifying the nature of ethical judgments. In the second, we look at how disagreement phenomena have been taken to undermine cognitivist accounts, but also at how the seeming variation in cognitive and non-cognitive contents (...)
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  37. added 2016-07-20
    Nate Jackson (2016). Moral Particularism and the Role of Imaginary Cases: A Pragmatist Approach. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 8 (1):237-259.
    I argue that John Dewey’s analysis of imagination enables an account of learning from imaginary cases consistent with Jonathan Dancy’s moral particularism. Moreover, this account provides a more robust account of learning from cases than Dancy’s own. Particularism is the position that there are no, or at most few, true moral principles, and that competent reasoning and judgment do not require them. On a particularist framework, one cannot infer from an imaginary case that because a feature has a particular moral (...)
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  38. added 2016-07-19
    David Copp (1995). Moral Obligation and Moral Motivation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (sup1):187-219.
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  39. added 2016-07-19
    W. D. Falk (1948). VIII.—“Ought” and Motivation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 48 (1):111-138.
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  40. added 2016-07-18
    James E. Bruce (2013). Rights in the Law: The Importance of God's Free Choices in the Thought of Francis Turretin. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  41. added 2016-07-14
    John-Michael Kuczynski (2016). Emotivism. JOHN-MICHAEL KUCZYNSKI.
    Emotivism is the doctrine that ethical beliefs are nothing more than projections of emotion. In this concise study, it is shown that emotions themselves embody ethical beliefs and that, for that reason, emotivism implicitly presupposes the truth of a non-emotivism conception of ethical truth and therefore fails.
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  42. added 2016-07-13
    Jussi Suikkanen (forthcoming). Non-Realist Cognitivism, Truth and Objectivity. Acta Analytica:1-20.
    In On What Matters, Derek Parfit defends a new metaethical theory, which he calls non-realist cognitivism. It claims that normative judgments are beliefs; that some normative beliefs are true; that the normative concepts that are a part of the propositions that are the contents of normative beliefs are irreducible, unanalysable and of their own unique kind; and that neither the natural features of the reality nor any additional normative features of the reality make the relevant normative beliefs true. The aim (...)
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  43. added 2016-07-12
    Lorenzo Greco (forthcoming). A Powerless Conscience: Hume on Reflection and Acting Conscientiously. British Journal for the History of Philosophy.
    If one looks for the notion of conscience in Hume, there appears to be a contrast between the standard, loose use of it that can be found in his The History of England, and the stricter use of it Hume makes in his philosophical works such as A Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals. It is my belief that, notwithstanding the alleged problems Hume’s philosophy raises for a notion such as conscience, it is nonetheless (...)
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  44. added 2016-07-11
    Christian Piller (2015). What Is Goodness Good For? In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Vol 4. 179-209.
  45. added 2016-07-11
    Christian Piller (2003). The New Realism in Ethics. In Thomas Baldwin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870-1945. 377-388.
  46. added 2016-07-09
    Robert Cowan (2016). C.D. Broad on Moral Sense Theories in Ethics. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Virtual Issue: Methods of Ethics (3):168-183.
    C.D. Broad’s Reflections stands out as one of the few serious examinations of Moral Sense Theory in twentieth century analytic philosophy. It also constitutes an excellent discussion of the interconnections that allegedly exist between questions concerning what Broad calls the ‘logical analysis’ of moral judgments and questions about their epistemology. In this paper I make three points concerning the interconnectedness of the analytical and epistemological elements of versions of Moral Sense Theory. First, I make a general point about Broad’s association (...)
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  47. added 2016-07-07
    Christine Clavien & Chloë FitzGerald (forthcoming). The Evolution of Moral Intuitions and Their Feeling of Rightness. In Joyce R. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy.
    Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and a (...)
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  48. added 2016-07-06
    Jan Willem Wieland (forthcoming). Responsibility for Strategic Ignorance. Synthese:1-21.
    Strategic ignorance is a widespread phenomenon. In a laboratory setting, many participants avoid learning information about the consequences of their behaviour in order to act egoistically. In real life, many consumers avoid information about their purchases or the working conditions in which they were produced in order to retain their lifestyle. The question is whether agents are blameworthy for such strategically ignorant behaviour. In this paper, I explore quality of will resources, according to which agents are blameworthy, roughly, depending on (...)
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  49. added 2016-07-02
    Tomasz Żuradzki (2016). Meta-Reasoning in Making Moral Decisions Under Normative Uncertainty. In Dima Mohammed & Marcin Lewiński (eds.), Argumentation and Reasoned Action. College Publications 1093-1104.
    I analyze recent discussions about making moral decisions under normative uncertainty. I discuss whether this kind of uncertainty should have practical consequences for decisions and whether there are reliable methods of reasoning that deal with the possibility that we are wrong about some moral issues. I defend a limited use of the decision theory model of reasoning in cases of normative uncertainty.
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  50. added 2016-07-01
    Yusuke Kaneko (2016). Logic of My Mind (Kokoro no ronri). Koyo Publishing Company.
    Although written in Japanese, this book becomes a landmark of my works so far: that on Zangwill (Kaneko, 2011), that on Utilitarianism (2013), and so on. The novelty shown in it is a formalization of traditional philosophy including Kant (its practical philosophy), Utilitarianism (Hume, Bentham, and Mill), and furthermore, Descartes. I try to locate these traditional thoughts within modern forms which I make in the name of "practical syllogism." This attempt would open up a new approach to ethical motivation.
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