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Meta-Ethics

Edited by Daniel Star (Boston University)
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  1. added 2014-10-27
    Amir Saemi (2014). On John Laird's “Value and Obligation”. Ethics 125 (1):235-237,.
    Unjustly forgotten, Laird’s “value and obligation”, I shall argue, is of great relevance to contemporary moral philosophy. To this aim, I will explore three main theses of Laird’s paper which are as follows: (T1) We can’t understand judgments of value and obligation in terms of mere feelings and desires. (T2) Desire must be guided by cognition of some value. (T3) Judgments of rightness and obligation must be grounded in judgments of value.
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  2. added 2014-10-25
    Yair Levy (forthcoming). Brennan, Eriksson, Goodin, and Southwood, 'Explaining Norms' (OUP 2013). [REVIEW] Mind.
  3. added 2014-10-23
    Mavis Biss (2014). On W. P. Ker's “Imagination and Judgment”. Ethics 125 (1):232-234,.
    In “Imagination and Judgment” W.P. Ker argues, contrary to the “ordinary teaching” of the moralists of his day, that we have good reason to consider imagination as “the highest form of practical wisdom or prudence” (475). Modes of imaginative thought that direct human passion towards morally valuable ends are best understood as a form of reason or an intellectual virtue, as opposed to a dangerous distraction from reality and threat to good judgment. Ker’s piece remains of interest partly because it (...)
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  4. added 2014-10-22
    Fabrice Correia & Christine Tappolet (2014). Plus on Monte Plus on S'amuse : Introduction. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):149-151.
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  5. added 2014-10-22
    Bruno Guindon (2014). Sources, raisons et exigences. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):152-165.
    Il existe de nombreuses sources d’exigences. Certaines exigences sont normatives dans la mesure où elles impliquent des affirmations concernant ce que nous avons raison de croire, faire, désirer, etc. À ce titre, les exigences morales sont parmi les meilleures candidates. Si la morale exige que l’on tienne notre promesse, il semble que nous avons une raison de la tenir. Cependant, ce ne sont pas toutes les exigences qui sont normatives en ce sens. Le catholicisme exige que l’on assiste à la (...)
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  6. added 2014-10-22
    Antti Kauppinen (2014). Hate and Punishment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence:1-19.
    According to legal expressivism, neither crime nor punishment consists merely in intentionally imposing some kind of harm on another. Crime and punishment also have an expressive aspect. They are what they are in part because they enact attitudes toward others—in the case of crime, some kind of disrespect, at least, and in the case of punishment, society’s condemnation or reprobation. Punishment is justified, at least in part, because (and when) it uniquely expresses fitting condemnation or other retributive attitude. What makes (...)
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  7. added 2014-10-19
    Felipe Ledesma (2001). El mal radical. Notas sobre la rebelión de las masas. Estudios Orteguianos 2:131-135.
    The radical evil. Notes on the revolt of masses. In his Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, Kant speaks about a radical evil present in the human being, a tendency to place before the desire with regard to the rational duty, which is impossible to tear up by the roots from the human nature. In The revolt of the masses, Ortega also speaks about an evil that is anyway present in the so called mass-man, in each one of us, (...)
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  8. added 2014-10-01
    Thorsten Sander (2014). A Frege‐Geach Style Objection to Cognitivist Judgment Internalism. Dialectica 68 (3):391-408.
    According to (cognitivist) judgment internalism, there is a conceptual connection between moral judgment and motivation. This paper offers an argument against that kind of internalism that does not involve counterexamples of the amoralist sort. Instead, it is argued that these forms of judgment internalism fall prey to a Frege-Geach type argument.
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  9. added 2014-09-30
    Sem de Maagt (forthcoming). In Defence of Fact-Dependency. Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
    G.A. Cohen and David Estlund claim that, because of their fact-dependent nature, constructivist theories of justice do not qualify as moral theories about fundamental values such as justice. In this paper, I defend fact-dependent, constructivist theories of justice against this fact-independency critique. I argue that constructivists can invoke facts among the grounds for accepting fundamental principles of justice while maintaining that the foundation of morality has to be non-empirical. My claim is that constructivists ultimately account for the normativity of fact-dependent (...)
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  10. added 2014-09-30
    Gunnar Björnsson (2014). Essentially Shared Obligations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):103-120.
    This paper lists a number of puzzles for shared obligations – puzzles about the role of individual influence, individual reasons to contribute towards fulfilling the obligation, about what makes someone a member of a group sharing an obligation, and the relation between agency and obligation – and proposes to solve them based on a general analysis of obligations. On the resulting view, shared obligations do not presuppose joint agency.
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  11. added 2014-09-30
    Juha Räikkä (1996). Are There Alternative Methods in Ethics? Grazer Philosophische Studien 52:173-189.
    Do all methods of moral justification resemble the method of reflective equilibrium in presupposing that moral judgment's being justified depends at least in part on its being appropriately related to our actual substantial moral views? Can a moral judgment be justified without such a presupposition? I shall distinguish three versions of the no-option argument According to any version of the no-option argument, there is certain fact which characterizes moral theories, and that fact implies that there is no option other than (...)
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  12. added 2014-09-29
    David O. Brink (forthcoming). Principles and Intuitions in Ethics: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. .
    This essay situates some recent empirical research on the origin, nature, role, and reliability of moral intuitions against the background of nineteenth-century debates between ethical naturalism and rational intuitionism. The legitimate heir to Millian naturalism is the contemporary method of reflective equilibrium and its defeasible reliance on moral intuitions. Recent doubts about moral intuitions—worries that they reflect the operation of imperfect cognitive heuristics, are resistant to undermining evidence, are subject to framing effects, and are variable—are best addressed by ethical naturalism (...)
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  13. added 2014-09-29
    Randolph Clarke (2014). Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics, and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical theories of agency have focused primarily on actions and activities. But, besides acting, we often omit to do or refrain from doing certain things. How is this aspect of our agency to be conceived? This book offers a comprehensive account of omitting and refraining, addressing issues ranging from the nature of agency and moral responsibility to the metaphysics of absences and causation. Topics addressed include the role of intention in intentional omission, the connection between negligence and omission, the distinction (...)
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  14. added 2014-09-29
    Svein Eng (2014). Why Reflective Equilibrium? III: Reflective Equilibrium as a Heuristic Tool. Ratio Juris 27 (3):440-459.
    In A Theory of Justice (1971), John Rawls introduces the concept of “reflective equilibrium.” Although there are innumerable references to and discussions of this concept in the literature, there is, to the present author's knowledge, no discussion of the most important question: Why reflective equilibrium? In particular, the question arises: Is the method of reflective equilibrium applicable to the choice of this method itself? Rawls's drawing of parallels between Kant's moral theory and his own suggests that his concept of “reflective (...)
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  15. added 2014-09-29
    Juha Räikkä (1996). Are There Alternative Methods in Ethics? Grazer Philosophische Studien 52:173-189.
    Do all methods of moral justification resemble the method of reflective equilibrium in presupposing that moral judgment's being justified depends at least in part on its being appropriately related to our actual substantial moral views? Can a moral judgment be justified without such a presupposition? I shall distinguish three versions of the no-option argument According to any version of the no-option argument, there is certain fact which characterizes moral theories, and that fact implies that there is no option other than (...)
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  16. added 2014-09-25
    Andras Szigeti (2014). Collective Responsibility and Group-Control. In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Springer. 97-116.
  17. added 2014-09-22
    Sven Nyholm (2006). Reason-Based Value or Value-Based Reasons? In Björn Haglund & Helge Malmgren (eds.), Kvantifikator För En Dag. Essays Dedicated to Dag Westerståhl on His Sixtieth Birthday. Philosophical Communications. 193-202.
    In this paper, I discuss practical reasons and value, assuming a coexistence thesis according to which reasons and value always go together. I start by doing some taxonomy, distinguishing among three different ways of accounting for the relation between practical reasons and the good. I argue that, of these views, the most plausible one is that according to which something’s being good just consists in how certain facts about the thing in question – other than that of how it is (...)
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  18. added 2014-09-18
    Tomasz Żuradzki (forthcoming). Moral Uncertainty in Bioethical Argumentation: A New Understanding of the Pro-Life View on Early Human Embryos. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics:1-17.
    In this article, I present a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. In my understanding, this position is based not on presumptions about the ontological status of embryos and their developmental capabilities but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This view, which uses the decision theory model of moral reasoning, promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the ontological status of (...)
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  19. added 2014-09-17
    Gianluca Verrucci (2014). Introduzione alla metaetica. FrancoAngeli.
    Von Wright rileva, tuttavia, quanto sia pretestuoso ritenere che l'etica normativa possa fare a meno dell'analisi metaetica e della chiarificazione di concetti come ' buono' e 'obbligazione' che essa appunto estesamente presuppone. Alla luce di  ...
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  20. added 2014-09-17
    Gianluca Verrucci (2010). Sulla motivazione morale. Ragione Pratica 34:301-308.
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  21. added 2014-09-17
    Gianluca Verrucci (2010). Ragion pratica e normatività. Il costruttivismo kantiano di Rawls, Korsgaard e O'Neill. Mimesis.
  22. added 2014-09-17
    François Schroeter (2009). Le relativisme moral et le projet de coopération épistémique. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 4 (1):4-19.
    Cet article examine de façon critique certaines des récentes tentatives de défendre une position relativiste en métaéthique. Les adeptes du relativisme ont tenté avec beaucoup d’ingéniosité de montrer comment leur position peut soit accepter soit invalider l’intuition selon laquelle nous parlons tous de la même chose quand nous utilisons le vocabulaire moral. Mon argument cherche à établir qu’ils ont ce faisant négligé l’une des fonctions centrales de notre discours moral : créer un forum favorisant la coopération épistémique dans le but (...)
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  23. added 2014-09-15
    Gunnar Björnsson (forthcoming). Disagreement, Correctness, and the Evidence for Metaethical Absolutism. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford.
    Metaethical absolutism is the view that moral concepts have non-relative satisfaction conditions that are constant across judges and their particular beliefs, attitudes, and cultural embedding. If it is correct, there is an important sense in which parties of moral disputes are concerned to get the same things right, such that their disputes can be settled by the facts. If it is not correct, as various forms of relativism and non-cognitivism imply, such coordination of concerns will be limited. The most influential (...)
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  24. added 2014-09-10
    Timothy Lane & Owen Flanagan (forthcoming). Neuroexistentialism, Eudaimonics, and Positive Illusions. In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Mind and Society: Cognitive Science Meets the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. SYNTHESE Philosophy Library Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, & Philosophy of Science. Springer Science+Business.
    There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...)
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  25. added 2014-09-10
    Nikil Mukerji (2014). Technological Progress and Responsibility. In Fiorella Battaglia, Nikil Mukerji & Julian Nida-Rümelin (eds.), Rethinking Responsibility in Science and Technology. Pisa University Press. 25-36.
    In this essay, I will examine how technological progress affects the responsibilities of human agents. To this end, I will distinguish between two interpretations of the concept of responsibility, viz. responsibility as attributability and substantive responsibility. On the former interpretation, responsibility has to do with the idea of authorship. When we say that a person is responsible for her actions we mean that she is to be seen as the author of these actions. They can be attributed to her, such (...)
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  26. added 2014-09-09
    Jussi Suikkanen (forthcoming). Naturalism in Metaethics. In Kelly James Clark (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Naturalism. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter offers an introduction to naturalist views in contemporary metaethics. Such views attempt to find a place for normative properties (such as goodness and rightness) in the concrete physical world as it is understood by both science and common sense. The chapter begins by introducing simple naturalist conceptual analyses of normative terms. It then explains how these analyses were rejected in the beginning of the 20th Century due to G.E. Moore’s influential Open Question Argument. After this, the chapter considers (...)
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  27. added 2014-09-08
    Daan Evers, Relativism and the Metaphysics of Value.
    I argue that relativists about evaluative language face some of the same objections as non-naturalists in ethics. If these objections have force, there is reason to doubt the existence of relative evaluative states of affairs. In they do not exist, then relativism leads to an error theory. This is unattractive, as the position was specifically designed to preserve the truth of many evaluative claims.
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  28. added 2014-09-04
    Daan Evers (2014). Review of Moral Error Theory, by Jonas Olson. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  29. added 2014-09-03
    Jesse S. Summers & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (forthcoming). Scrupulous Agents. Philosophical Psychology:1-20.
    Scrupulosity (a form of OCD involving obsession with morality) raises fascinating issues about the nature of moral judgment and about moral responsibility. After defining scrupulosity, describing its common features, and discussing concrete case studies, we discuss three peculiar aspects of moral judgments made by scrupulous patients: perfectionism, intolerance of uncertainty, and moral thought-action fusion. We then consider whether mesh and reasons-responsiveness accounts of responsibility explain whether the scrupulous are morally responsible.
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  30. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Do Manipulators Always Threaten Rationality? American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1).
  31. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation. In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press.
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  32. added 2014-08-23
    Adam Feltz & Florian Cova (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis. Consciousness and Cognition.
    Fundamental beliefs about free will and moral responsibility are often thought to shape our ability to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves. Emotional reactions have also been shown to have an important and pervasive impact on judgments and behaviors. Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgments about free will, influencing judgments about determinism’s relation to free will and moral responsibility. However, the extent to which affect influences these judgments is unclear. We conducted a metaanalysis (...)
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  33. added 2014-08-22
    Selim Berker, The Unity of Grounding.
    I argue that there is only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation, and that it is indispensable for normative inquiry.
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  34. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2013). Narrative and Justification in Moral Particularism. Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy (2):22-32.
    In this paper I will discuss the problem of justification in moral particularism. The first part is concerned with Jonathan Dancy’s account of justification, which is a narrative one. To justify one’s choice is to present a persuasive description of the context in a narrative fashion, not to subordinate singular cases to universal rules. Since it dismisses arguments and employs persuasiveness, this view seems irrational, so the second part of my paper will consist of a personal reconstruction and reformulation of (...)
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  35. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2013). Etica fara principii? Generalism si particularism in filosofia morala. Eikon Publishing House.
    Cum arată un om moral? Este acesta un om care se află în posesia unor principii ferme și știe cum să le aplice? Sau este un om care, neavând nevoie de reguli morale, reușește de fiecare dată să ia decizia corectă? Poate fi moralitatea codificată într-un set de principii universale? Sau viața morală este mult prea complexă pentru a fi guvernată de reguli stricte? Dar dacă moralitatea nu constă în aplicarea unor standarde generale, ci în capacitatea de a lua decizii (...)
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  36. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2011). Originile Disputei Etice Dintre Particularism Şi Generalism: Platon Şi Aristotel. Annals of Philosophy. University of Bucharest:51-63.
    This paper is a critical investigation about the historical origins of two contemporary approaches in ethics: moral particularism and moral generalism. Moral particularism states that there are no defensible moral principles and that moral thought doesn’t consist in the application of moral principles to cases, but in understanding the morally relevant features of an action, which vary from case to case. In opposition, moral generalism is the traditional claim that moral decisions are made by applying general rules to particular actions. (...)
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  37. added 2014-08-18
    Michael Kühler (2012). Who Am I to Uphold Unrealizable Normative Claims? In Michael Kühler & Nadja Jelinek (eds.), Autonomy and the Self. Springer. 191--209.
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  38. added 2014-08-18
    Ishtiyaque Haji (2002). Deontic Morality and Control. Cambridge University Press.
    My overall stance on the dilemma concerning freedom and deontic morality can, finally, be summarized in the following way. The dilemma, recollect, is this: If determinism is true, then no one has control – “deontic-grounding” control – over  ...
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  39. added 2014-08-18
    Jaakko Hintikka (1969). Deontic Logic and its Philosophical Morals. In Models for Modalities. Reidel Publishing Company. 184--214.
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  40. added 2014-08-16
    William Lauinger (2014). The Neutralization of Draper-Style Evidential Arguments From Evil. Faith and Philosophy 31 (3):303-324.
    This paper aims to neutralize Draper-style evidential arguments from evil by defending five theses: (1) that, when those who advance these arguments use the word “evil,” they are referring, at least in large part, to ill-being; (2) that well-being and ill-being come as a pair (i.e., are essentially related); (3) that well-being and ill-being are best understood in an at least partly objectivist way; (4) that (even partial) objectivism about well-being and ill-being is best understood as implying non-naturalism about well-being (...)
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  41. added 2014-08-16
    Ann Pang-White (1994). Augustine on Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will. Revue Des Études Augustiniennes 40:417-431.
  42. added 2014-08-13
    Ariela Tubert (forthcoming). Sound Advice and Internal Reasons. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Reasons internalism holds that reasons for action contain an essential connection with motivation. I defend an account of reasons internalism based on the advisor model. The advisor model provides an account of reasons for action in terms of the advice of a more rational version of the agent. Contrary to Pettit and Smith's proposal and responding to Sobel and Johnson's objections, I argue that the advisor model can provide an account of internal reasons and that it is too caught up (...)
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  43. added 2014-08-12
    Andrew Sepielli, Moral Uncertainty and the "Fetishism" Objection.
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  44. added 2014-08-12
    Andrew Sepielli (2014). Should You Look Before You Leap? The Philosophers' Magazine 66:89-93.
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  45. added 2014-08-10
    Jussi Suikkanen, Judgment Internalism and Self-Knowledge.
    Judgment internalism about evaluative judgments is the view that there is a necessary internal connection between evaluative judgments and motivation understood as desires. The debate about judgment internalism has reached a standoff some time ago. In this paper, I outline a new argument for judgment internalism. This argument does not rely on intuitions about cases, but rather it has the form of an inference to the best explanation. I argue that the best philosophical explanations of how we know what we (...)
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  46. added 2014-08-08
    Benjamin Kiesewetter (forthcoming). Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle. Ethics.
    If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well – or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this paper is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. (...)
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  47. added 2014-08-08
    Fabian Freyenhagen (2013). Adorno's Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly. Cambridge University Press.
    Adorno notoriously asserted that there is no 'right' life in our current social world. This assertion has contributed to the widespread perception that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and he is often accused of being too negative. Fabian Freyenhagen reconstructs and defends Adorno's practical philosophy in response to these charges. He argues that Adorno's deep pessimism about the contemporary social world is coupled with a strong optimism about human potential, and that this optimism explains his negative (...)
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  48. added 2014-08-04
    Diego E. Machuca (2014). Review of K. Setiya, Knowing Right From Wrong. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2):78-80.
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  49. added 2014-08-04
    Conor McHugh & Daniel Whiting (2014). The Normativity of Belief. Analysis 74 (4):698-713.
    This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.
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  50. added 2014-08-02
    Jonathan Dancy & Daniel Muñoz (2014). Not Knowing Everything That Matters. The Philosophers' Magazine (66):94-99.
    We know what to say about the agent who knowingly does the wrong thing. But what of the wrongdoer who doesn't know everything that matters? Some of the usual criticisms may apply, if some of the usual mistakes were made. Other usual criticisms will miss the mark. One task for moral theory is to explain this variety of censures and failures. Derek Parfit proposes that we define for each criticism a sense of 'wrong', and that each new sense be defined (...)
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