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Profile: Elizabeth Tropman (Colorado State University)
  1. Elizabeth Tropman (2014). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Moral Realism, Constructivism, and Explaining Moral Knowledge. Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):126-140.
    One of the alleged advantages of a constructivist theory in metaethics is that the theory avoids the epistemological problems with moral realism while reaping many of realism's benefits. According to evolutionary debunking arguments, the epistemological problem with moral realism is that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes it hard to see how our moral beliefs count as knowledge of moral facts, realistically construed. Certain forms of constructivism are supposed to be immune to this argument, giving the view a (...)
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  2. Elizabeth Tropman (2014). Varieties of Moral Intuitionism. Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (2):177-194.
    Moral intuitionism is the view that we can know or justifiably believe some moral facts directly, without inferring them from other evidence or proof. While intuitionism is frequently dismissed as implausible, the theory has received renewed interest in the literature.See Robert Audi, The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004); Jill Graper Hernandez (ed.), The New Intuitionism (London: Continuum, 2011); Michael Huemer, Ethical Intuitionism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Sabine Roeser, Moral (...)
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  3. Elizabeth Tropman (2014). Why Cornell Moral Realism Cannot Provide an Adequate Account of Moral Knowledge. Theoria 80 (2):184-190.
    According to Cornell moral realists, we can know about moral facts in much the same way that we do the empirical facts of the natural sciences. In “Can Cornell Moral Realism Adequately Account for Moral Knowledge?” (2012), I argue that this positive comparison to scientific knowledge hurts, rather than helps, the moral realist position. Joseph Long has recently defended Cornell moral realism against my concerns. In this article, I respond to Long's arguments and clarify important issues in the present debate.
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  4. Elizabeth Tropman (2013). Making Sense of Explanatory Objections to Moral Realism. American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):37-50.
    Many commentators suppose that morality, objectively construed, must possess a minimal sort of explanatory relevance if moral realism is to be plausible. To the extent that moral realists are unable to secure explanatory relevance for moral facts, moral realism faces a problem. Call this general objection an “explanatory objection” to moral realism. Despite the prevalence of explanatory objections in the literature, the connection between morality’s explanatory powers and moral realism’s truth is not clear. This paper considers several different reasons for (...)
     
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  5. Elizabeth Tropman (2012). Can Cornell Moral Realism Adequately Account for Moral Knowledge? Theoria 78 (1):26-46.
    This article raises a problem for Cornell varieties of moral realism. According to Cornell moral realists, we can know about moral facts just as we do the empirical facts of the natural sciences. If this is so, it would remove any special mystery that is supposed to attach to our knowledge of objective moral facts. After clarifying the ways in which moral knowledge is to be similar to scientific knowledge, I claim that the analogy fails, but for little-noticed reasons. A (...)
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  6. Elizabeth Tropman (2012). Self-Evidence and A Priori Moral Knowledge. Disputatio 4 (33).
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  7. Elizabeth Tropman (2011). Non-Inferential Moral Knowledge. Acta Analytica 26 (4):355-366.
    In a series of recent papers, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has developed a novel argument against moral intuitionism. I suggest a defense on behalf of the intuitionist against Sinnott-Armstrong’s objections. Rather than focus on the main premises of his argument, I instead examine the way in which Sinnott-Armstrong construes the intuitionistic position. I claim that Sinnott-Armstrong’s understanding of intuitionism is mistaken. In particular, I argue that Sinnott-Armstrong mischaracterizes non-inferentiality as it figures in intuitionism. To the extent that Sinnott-Armstrong’s account of intuitionism has (...)
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  8. Elizabeth Tropman & Patrick McKee (2011). “ S Knows That P ” Expanded: Apology 20 D-24 B. Social Epistemology 24 (1):29-43.
    There are calls to expand the schema “ S knows that p ” to accommodate ways of knowing that are socially important but neglected in recent epistemology. A wider, more adequate conception of human knowing is needed that will include interested or motivated inquirers as “S,” and personal traits of persons as “ p .” Historically important treatments of knowing that accommodate these features deserve examination as part of the effort to create a broader epistemology. We find such a treatment (...)
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  9. Patrick McKee & Elizabeth Tropman (2010). “ S Knows That P ” Expanded: Apology 20 D–24 B. Social Epistemology 24 (1):29 – 43.
    There are calls to expand the schema “ S knows that p ” to accommodate ways of knowing that are socially important but neglected in recent epistemology. A wider, more adequate conception of human knowing is needed that will include interested or motivated inquirers as “S,” and personal traits of persons as “ p .” Historically important treatments of knowing that accommodate these features deserve examination as part of the effort to create a broader epistemology. We find such a treatment (...)
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  10. Elizabeth Tropman (2010). Intuitionism and the Secondary-Quality Analogy in Ethics. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (1):31-45.
    Sensibility theorists such as John McDowell have argued that once we appreciate certain similarities between moral values and secondary qualities, a new meta-ethical position might emerge, one that avoids the alleged difficulties with moral intuitionism and non-cognitivism. The aim of this paper is to examine the meta-ethical prospects of this secondary-quality analogy. Of particular concern will be the extent to which McDowell’s comparison of values to secondary qualities supports a viewpoint unique from that of the moral intuitionist. Once we disentangle (...)
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  11. Elizabeth Tropman (2009). Renewing Moral Intuitionism. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (4):440-463.
    According to moral intuitionism, moral properties are objective, but our cognitions of them are not always based on premises. In this paper, I develop a novel version of moral intuitionism and argue that this new intuitionism is worthy of closer attention. The intuitionistic theory I propose, while inspired by the early twentieth-century intuitionism of W. D. Ross, avoids the alleged errors of his view. Furthermore, unlike Robert Audi's contemporary formulation of intuitionism, my theory has the resources to account for the (...)
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  12. Elizabeth Tropman (2008). Naturalism and the New Moral Intuitionism. Journal of Philosophical Research 33:163-84.
    The aim of this paper is to defend moral intuitionism, in its new formulations, against the criticism that there is something objectionably non-natural about its conception of moral properties. The force of this complaint depends crucially on what it means to be a non-natural property. I consider a number of ways of drawing the natural/non-natural distinction and argue that, once the notion of 'non-natural property' is sufficiently clarified, it fails to figure in a compelling argument against moral intuitionism.
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