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Profile: Richard Yetter Chappell (University of York)
  1. Richard Yetter Chappell, A Non-Natural Reason by Any Other Name...
    Are non-natural properties worth caring about? I consider two (related) objections to metaethical non-naturalism. According to the "intelligibility" objection, it would be positively unintelligible to care about non-natural properties that float free from the causal fabric of the cosmos. According to the "ethical idlers" objection, there is no compelling motivation to posit non-natural normative properties because the natural properties suffice to provide us with reasons. In both cases, I argue, the objection stems from misunderstanding the role that non-natural properties play (...)
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  2. Richard Yetter Chappell, Satisficing by Effort: From Scalar to Satisficing Consequentialism.
    Traditional forms of Satisficing Consequentialism risk condoning the gratuitous prevention of goodness above the baseline of what qualifies as “good enough”. I propose a new, effort-based version of the view that avoids this problem, and that better fits with the motivation of avoiding an excessively demanding conception of morality. I further argue that the resulting view can be motivated even starting from the sparse starting point of Scalar Consequentialism, so long as we’re willing to supplement our consequentialism with independent norms (...)
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  3. Richard Yetter Chappell, Value Holism.
    This paper considers the relation between the value of a whole (person, society) and its parts (timeslices, individuals), arguing that the contributory value of a part cannot be determined in isolation. For example, the value of an additional life may depend on what other lives there are. This has important implications for population ethics, and especially Parfit's 'repugnant conclusion'.
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  4. Richard Yetter Chappell & Helen Yetter-Chappell, Virtue and Salience.
    This paper explores two ways that evaluations of an agent’s character as virtuous or vicious are properly influenced by what the agent finds salient or attention-grabbing. First, we argue that ignoring salient needs reveals a greater deficit of benevolent motivation in the agent, and hence renders them more blameworthy. We use this fact to help explain our ordinary intuition that failing to give to famine relief (for example) is in some sense less bad than failing to help a drowning child (...)
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  5. Richard Yetter Chappell (forthcoming). Knowing What Matters. In Peter Singer (ed.), Does Anything Really Matter? Parfit on Objectivity. Oxford University Press.
    Parfit's On What Matters offers a rousing defence of non-naturalist normative realism against pressing metaphysical and epistemological objections. He addresses skeptical arguments based on (i) the causal origins of our normative beliefs, and (ii) the appearance of pervasive moral disagreement. In both cases, he concedes the first step to the skeptic, but draws a subsequent distinction with which he hopes to stem the skeptic's advance. I argue, however, that these distinctions cannot bear the weight that Parfit places on them. A (...)
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  6. Richard Yetter Chappell (2014). The Limits of Kindness. By Caspar Hare. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201403.
  7. Richard Yetter Chappell (2013). Value Receptacles. Noûs 47 (3):n/a-n/a.
    Utilitarianism is often rejected on the grounds that it fails to respect the separateness of persons, instead treating people as mere “receptacles of value”. I develop several different versions of this objection, and argue that, despite their prima facie plausibility, they are all mistaken. Although there are crude forms of utilitarianism that run afoul of these objections, I advance a new form of the view—‘token-pluralistic utilitarianism’—that does not.
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  8. Helen Yetter-Chappell & Richard Yetter Chappell (2013). Mind-Body Meets Metaethics: A Moral Concept Strategy. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):865-878.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...)
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  9. Richard Yetter Chappell (2012). Fittingness: The Sole Normative Primitive. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):684 - 704.
    This paper draws on the 'Fitting Attitudes' analysis of value to argue that we should take the concept of fittingness (rather than value) as our normative primitive. I will argue that the fittingness framework enhances the clarity and expressive power of our normative theorising. Along the way, we will see how the fittingness framework illuminates our understanding of various moral theories, and why it casts doubt on the Global Consequentialist idea that acts and (say) eye colours are normatively on a (...)
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  10. Richard Yetter Chappell (2012). On What Matters. By Parfit. Oxford University Press, 2011, Pp. 1140, £30, ISBN: 9780199265923. [REVIEW] Philosophy 87 (04):599-603.
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