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Profile: Charlie Kurth (Washington University in St. Louis)
  1. Charlie Kurth (2016). Anxiety, Normative Uncertainty, and Social Regulation. Biology and Philosophy 31 (1):1-21.
    Emotion plays an important role in securing social stability. But while emotions like fear, anger, and guilt have received much attention in this context, little work has been done to understand the role that anxiety plays. That’s unfortunate. I argue that a particular form of anxiety—what I call ‘practical anxiety’—plays an important, but as of yet unrecognized, role in norm-based social regulation. More specifically, it provides a valuable form of metacognition, one that contributes to social stability by helping individuals negotiate (...)
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  2. Charlie Kurth (2015). Moral Anxiety and Moral Agency. Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5:171-195.
    A familiar feature of moral life is the distinctive anxiety that we feel in the face of a moral dilemma or moral conflict. Situations like these require us to take stands on controversial issues. But because we are unsure that we will make the correct decision, anxiety ensues. Despite the pervasiveness of this phenomenon, surprisingly little work has been done either to characterize this “ moral anxiety” or to explain the role that it plays in our moral lives. This paper (...)
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  3. Charlie Kurth (2014). Expressivism and Innocent Mistakes. Ethics 124 (2):370-383.
    Allan Gibbard maintains that his plan-based expressivism allows for a particular type of innocent mistake: I can agree that your plan to X makes sense (say, because it was based on advice from someone you trust), while nonetheless insisting that it is incorrect (e.g., because you chose a bad advisor). However, Steve Daskal has recently argued that there are significant limitations in Gibbard’s account of how we can be mistaken about the normative judgments we make. This essay refines Gibbard’s account (...)
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  4. Charlie Kurth (2013). What Do Our Critical Practices Say About the Nature of Morality? Philosophical Studies 166 (1):45-64.
    A prominent argument for moral realism notes that we are inclined to accept realism in science because scientific inquiry supports a robust set of critical practices—error, improvement, explanation, and the like. It then argues that because morality displays a comparable set of critical practices, a claim to moral realism is just as warranted as a claim to scientific realism. But the argument is only as strong as its central analogy—and here there is trouble. If the analogy between the critical practices (...)
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  5. Charlie Kurth (2011). Logic for Morals, Morals From Logic. Philosophical Studies 155 (2):161-180.
    The need to distinguish between logical and extra-logical varieties of inference, entailment, validity, and consistency has played a prominent role in meta-ethical debates between expressivists and descriptivists. But, to date, the importance that matters of logical form play in these distinctions has been overlooked. That’s a mistake given the foundational place that logical form plays in our understanding of the difference between the logical and the extra-logical. This essay argues that descriptivists are better positioned than their expressivist rivals to provide (...)
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  6.  24
    Charlie Kurth (2013). Review of Kieran Setiya’s Knowing Right From Wrong. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2013.
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