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.
Miranda Fricker appeals to the idea of moral-epistemic disappointment in order to show how our practices of moral appraisal can be sensitive to cultural and historical contingency. In particular, she thinks that moral-epistemic disappointment allows us to avoid the extremes of crude moralism and a relativism of distance. In my response I want to investigate what disappointment is, and whether it can constitute a form of focused moral appraisal in the way that Fricker imagines. I will argue that Fricker is (...) unable to appeal to disappointment as standardly understood, but that there is a more plausible way of understanding the notion that she can employ. There are, nevertheless, significant worries about the capacity of disappointment in this sense to function as a form of moral appraisal. I will argue, finally, that even if Fricker can address these worries, her position might end up closer to moralism than she would like. (shrink)
Abstract: The perceptual model of emotions maintains that emotions involve, or are at least analogous to, perceptions of value. On this account, emotions purport to tell us about the evaluative realm, in much the same way that sensory perceptions inform us about the sensible world. An important development of this position, prominent in recent work by Peter Goldie amongst others, concerns the essential role that virtuous habits of attention play in enabling us to gain perceptual and evaluative knowledge. I think (...) that there are good reasons to be sceptical about this picture of virtue. In this essay I set out these reasons, and explain the consequences this scepticism has for our understanding of the relation between virtue, emotion, and attention. In particular, I argue that our primary capacity for recognizing value is in fact a non-emotional capacity. (shrink)
A recalcitrant emotion is one which conflicts with evaluative judgement. (A standard example is where someone is afraid of flying despite believing that it poses little or no danger.) The phenomenon of emotional recalcitrance raises an important problem for theories of emotion, namely to explain the sense in which recalcitrant emotions involve rational conflict. In this paper I argue that existing ‘neojudgementalist’ accounts of emotions fail to provide plausible explanations of the irrationality of recalcitrant emotions, and develop and defend my (...) own neojudgementalist account. On my view, recalcitrant emotions are irrational insofar as they incline the subject to accept an evaluative construal that the subject has already rejected. (shrink)
Direct theories of the virtues maintain that an explanation of why some virtuous trait counts as valuable should ultimately appeal to the value of its characteristic motive or aim. In this paper I argue that, if we take the idea of a direct approach to virtue theory seriously, we should favour a view according to which virtue involves knowledge. I raise problems for recent “agent-based” and “end-based” versions of the direct approach, show how my account proves preferable to these, and (...) defend it against a number of objections. (shrink)
Epistemological contextualism has become one of the most important and widely discussed new proposals in the theory of knowledge. This special issue contributes to the debate by bringing together some of the main participants to provide a state-of-the-art discussion of the proposal. Here we offer a brief overview of the contextualist position, describe some of the main lines of criticism that have been levelled against the view, and present a summary of each of the contributions to this collection.
Abstract Agent-based virtue ethics is a unitary normative theory according to which the moral status of actions is entirely dependent upon the moral status of an agent's motives and character traits. One of the problems any such approach faces is to capture the common-sense distinction between an agent's doing the right thing, and her doing it for the right (or wrong) reason. In this paper I argue that agent-based virtue ethics ultimately fails to capture this kind of fine-grained distinction, and (...) to this extent ought to be rejected. I focus first on Michael Slote's agent-based theory, according to which the moral status of actions depends upon an agent's actual motives, and argue that this leads to a paradox. I then consider whether the ?counterfactual? version of agent-basing favoured by Rosalind Hursthouse and Linda Zagzebski fares any better, and conclude that it does not. (shrink)
Managers throughout the world regularly face ethical dilemmas that have important, and perhaps complex, professional and personal implications. Further, societal consequences of decisions made can be far-reaching. In this study, 210 financial services managers from Australia, Chile, Ecuador and the United States were queried about their ethical beliefs when faced with four diverse dilemmas. In addition, the situational context was altered so the respondent viewed each dilemma from a top management position and from a position of economic hardship. Results suggest (...) a complex interaction of situation, culture and issue when individuals make ethical judgments. Specifically, Chileans were found to have different beliefs about sex discrimination and child labor dilemmas when compared to their colleagues from the other three nations. Chileans and Australians also disagreed on the bribery dilemma. Anglo managers were more likely than Latin American managers to change their ethical responses when the situation was altered. For multinational firms interested in maintaining healthy ethical climates, the findings suggest that culturally contingent ethical guidelines, or policies adapted to the local customs, must be considered. Further, managers must remain aware of issues related to specific situations, both internal and external, that would cause subordinates to alter their moral judgment. (shrink)
Abstract It is shown that J. M. Keynes was the originator of what is called a weighted monetary value (WMV) approach to decision making under uncertainty and risk as opposed to either the expected monetary value (EMV) or subjective expected utility (SEU) approaches.
The author finds no support for the claim that J. M. Keynes had severe reservations, in general, as opposed to particular, concerning the application of mathematical, logical and statistical methods in economics. These misinterpretations rest on the omission of important source material as well as a severe misconstrual ofThe Treatise on Probability (1921).
The conclusions derived by Keynes in his Treatise on Probability (1921) concerning induction, analogical reasoning, expectations formation and decision making, mirror and foreshadow the main conclusions of cognitive science and psychology.The problem of weight is studied within an economic context by examining the role it played in Keynes' applied philosophy work, The General Theory (1936). Keynes' approach is then reformulated as an optimal control approach to dealing with changes in information evaluation over time. Based on this analysis the problem of (...) inductive justification, from a societal perspective, is not, What can we rationally believe will occur in the economic future, given our past experiences? but Can we make the future so as to attain specific economic goals with practical certainty? An answer requires that restrictions be placed on the methodological individualist approach and the acceptance of a restricted holistic approach. (shrink)