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  1. Values, Preferences, Meaningful Choice.Joe Edelman - manuscript
    Many fields (social choice, welfare economics, recommender systems) assume people express what benefits them via their 'revealed preferences'. Revealed preferences have well-documented problems when used this way, but are hard to displace in these fields because, as an information source, they are simple, universally applicable, robust, and high-resolution. In order to compete, other information sources (about participants' values, capabilities and functionings, etc) would need to match this. I present a conception of values as *attention policies resulting from constitutive judgements*, and (...)
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  2. On Two Arguments for Fanaticism.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - manuscript
    Should we make significant sacrifices to ever-so-slightly lower the chance of extremely bad outcomes, or to ever-so-slightly raise the chance of extremely good outcomes? *Fanaticism* says yes: for every bad outcome, there is a tiny chance of extreme disaster that is even worse, and for every good outcome, there is a tiny chance of an enormous good that is even better. I consider two related recent arguments for Fanaticism: Beckstead and Thomas's argument from *strange dependence on space and time*, and (...)
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  3. Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  4. Non-Additive Axiologies in Large Worlds.Christian Tarsney & Teruji Thomas - manuscript
    Is the overall value of a world just the sum of values contributed by each value-bearing entity in that world? Additively separable axiologies (like total utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and critical level views) say 'yes', but non-additive axiologies (like average utilitarianism, rank-discounted utilitarianism, and variable value views) say 'no'. This distinction is practically important: additive axiologies support 'arguments from astronomical scale' which suggest (among other things) that it is overwhelmingly important for humanity to avoid premature extinction and ensure the existence of a (...)
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  5. Testing for Intrinsic Value, for Us as We Are.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-26.
    Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Brentano, Moore, and Chisholm suggest marks of intrinsic value. Contemporary philosophers such as Christine Korsgaard have insightful discussions of intrinsic value. But how do we verify that some specific thing really is intrinsically valuable? I propose a natural way to test for intrinsic value: first, strip the candidate bare of all considerations of good consequences; and, second, see if what remains is still a good thing. I argue that we, as ordinary human beings, have (...)
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  6. Technological Change and Human Obsolescence: An Axiological Analysis.John Danaher - forthcoming - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
    Can human life have value in a world in which humans are rendered obsolete by technological advances? This article answers this question by developing an extended analysis of the axiological impact of human obsolescence. In doing so, it makes four main arguments. First, it argues that human obsolescence is a complex phenomenon that can take on at least four distinct forms. Second, it argues that one of these forms of obsolescence (‘actual-general’ obsolescence) is not a coherent concept and hence not (...)
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  7. Axiological Futurism: The Systematic Study of the Future of Values.John Danaher - forthcoming - Futures.
    Human values seem to vary across time and space. What implications does this have for the future of human value? Will our human and (perhaps) post-human offspring have very different values from our own? Can we study the future of human values in an insightful and systematic way? This article makes three contributions to the debate about the future of human values. First, it argues that the systematic study of future values is both necessary in and of itself and an (...)
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  8. Measuring Social Welfare by Proximity to an Optimum Population.Karin Enflo - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    This essay introduces a new type of measure of social welfare, where populations are evaluated by their resemblance to an optimum population, which is an (in principle) possible population with the highest degree of social welfare, relative to some circumstances. Here it is argued to be the largest possible population where everyone fares maximally well. The new measure is responsive to quality of welfare, equality of welfare, and the number of people. It satisfies dominance and negative monotonicity, and it avoids (...)
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  9. The Axiology of Abortion: Should We Hope Pro-Choicers or Pro-Lifers Are Right?Perry Hendricks - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    The ethics of abortion considers whether abortion is immoral. Pro-choice philosophers think that it is not immoral, while pro-life philosophers think that it is. The axiology of abortion considers whether world would be better if the pro-choice or pro-life position is right. While much attention has been given to the ethics of abortion, there has been no attention given to the axiology of abortion. In this article, I seek to change that. I consider various arguments for thinking our world would (...)
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  10. Created Goodness and the Goodness of God: Divine Ideas and the Possibility of Creaturely Value.Dan Kemp - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-13.
    Traditional theism says that the goodness of everything comes from God. Moreover, the goodness of something intrinsically valuable can only come from what has it. Many conclude from these two claims that no creatures have intrinsic value if traditional theism is true. I argue that the exemplarist theory of the divine ideas gives the theist a way out. According to exemplarism, God creates everything according to ideas that are about himself, and so everything resembles God. Since God is wholly good (...)
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  11. Book Review: Kirk Lougheed (Ed.), Four Views on the Axiology of Theism: What Difference Does God Make? [REVIEW]Asha Lancaster-Thomas - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
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  12. Kirk Lougheed (Ed.), Four Views on the Axiology of Theism: What Difference Does God Make? (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020). Pp. Ix + 177. £85.00 (Hbk). ISBN 781350083530. [REVIEW]Asha Lancaster-Thomas - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-3.
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  13. Value Beyond Monotheim: The Axiology of the Divine.Kirk Lougheed (ed.) - forthcoming - Routledge..
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  14. Sources of Transitivity.Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy.
    Why should be ‘better than’ be transitive? The leading answer in ethics is that values do not change with context. But this cannot be the entire source of transitivity, I argue, since transitivity can fail even if values never change, so long as they are complex, with multiple dimensions combined non-additively. I conclude by exploring a new hypothesis: that all alleged cases of nontransitive betterness, such as Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion, can and should be modeled as the result of complexity, not (...)
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  15. The Many, the Few, and the Nature of Value.Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    John Taurek argues that, in a choice between saving the many or the few, the numbers should not count. Some object that this view clashes with the transitivity of ‘better than’; others insist the clash can be avoided. I defend a middle ground: Taurek cannot have transitivity, but that doesn’t doom his view, given a suitable conception of value. I then formalize and explore two conceptions: one context-sensitive, one multidimensional.
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  16. Ethics Without Numbers.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper develops and explores a new framework for theorizing about the measurement and aggregation of well-being. It is a qualitative variation on the framework of social welfare functionals developed by Amartya Sen. In Sen’s framework, a social or overall betterness ordering is assigned to each profile of real-valued utility functions. In the qualitative framework developed here, numerical utilities are replaced by the properties they are supposed to represent. This makes it possible to characterize the measurability and interpersonal comparability of (...)
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  17. Are Spectrum Arguments Defused by Vagueness?Teruji Thomas - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    I consider paradoxical spectrum arguments involving transitive relations like 'better than'. I argue that, despite being formally different from sorites arguments, at least some spectrum arguments arise from vagueness, and that vagueness might often be the most natural diagnosis.
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  18. A Dilemma for Lexical and Archimedean Views in Population Axiology.Elliott Thornley - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy.
    According to lexical views in population axiology, there are good lives x and y such that some number of lives equally good as x is not worse than any number of lives equally good as y. Such views can avoid the Repugnant Conclusion without violating Transitivity or Separability, but they imply a dilemma: either some good life is better than any number of slightly worse lives, or else the ‘at least as good as’ relation on populations is radically incomplete, in (...)
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  19. The Black Box in Stoic Axiology.Michael Vazquez - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The ‘black box’ in Stoic axiology refers to the mysterious connection between the input of Stoic deliberation (reasons generated by the value of indifferents) and the output (appropriate actions). In this paper, I peer into the black box by drawing an analogy between Stoic and Kantian axiology. The value and disvalue of indifferents is intrinsic, but conditional. An extrinsic condition on the value of a token indifferent is that one's selection of that indifferent is sanctioned by context-relative ethical principles. The (...)
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  20. A New Argument Against Critical-Level Utilitarianism.Patrick Williamson - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-18.
    One prominent welfarist axiology, critical-level utilitarianism, says that individual lives must surpass a specified ‘critical level’ in order to make a positive contribution to the comparative status of a given population. In this article I develop a new dilemma for critical-level utilitarians. When comparatively evaluating populations composed of different species, critical-level utilitarians must decide whether the critical level is a universal threshold or whether the critical level is a species-relative threshold. I argue that both thresholds lead to a range of (...)
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  21. Contemporary Chinese Axiology Oriented Towards the Practice of Reform and Opening Up.Wu Xiangdong - forthcoming - Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-11.
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  22. What Does God Add to an Idealist World?Helen Yetter-Chappell - forthcoming - In Kirk Lougheed (ed.), Value Beyond Monotheim: The Axiology of the Divine. Routledge..
    There has been increasing interest among contemporary philosophers in nontheistic forms of ontological idealism, in contrast to the canonical theistic idealism of Berkeley. Given the ontological role that God plays in Berkeley’s metaphysics, it’s natural to think that questions of the value-impact of God will be greater in an idealistic context. Thus, it seems fruitful to ask: What does God add to (or detract from) an idealist world? This paper assesses the benefits and costs that come from moving to an (...)
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  23. 1 The Experience of God and the Axiology of the Impossible.John D. Caputo - 2022 - In Kevin Hart & Barbara Wall (eds.), The Experience of God: A Postmodern Response. Fordham University Press. pp. 20-41.
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  24. Holism, Particularity, and the Vividness of Life.August Gorman - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics:1-15.
    John Martin Fischer’s Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life puts forth a view that individual experiences could provide us with sources of endless fascination, motivation, and value if only we could live forever to continue to enjoy them. In this article I advocate for more caution about embracing this picture by pointing to three points of tension in Fischer's book. First, I argue that taking meaningfulness in life to be holistic is not compatible with the view immortal lives would be (...)
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  25. The Axiology of Theism: Problems and Prospects.Kirk Lougheed - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12826.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 5, May 2022.
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  26. Totalism Without Repugnance.Jacob M. Nebel - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich & Ketan Ramakrishnan (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-231.
    Totalism is the view that one distribution of well-being is better than another just in case the one contains a greater sum of well-being than the other. Many philosophers, following Parfit, reject totalism on the grounds that it entails the repugnant conclusion: that, for any number of excellent lives, there is some number of lives that are barely worth living whose existence would be better. This paper develops a theory of welfare aggregation—the lexical-threshold view—that allows totalism to avoid the repugnant (...)
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  27. A Book Review on Rethinking Language Education and Linguistic Diversity in Schools: Thematic Report From a Programme of Expert Workshops and Peer Learning Activities (2016-17). [REVIEW]Thobias Sarbunan - 2022 - Humanites Common.
    A Book Review on Rethinking language education and linguistic diversity in schools: Thematic report from a programme of expert workshops and peer learning activities (2016-17) European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Day, L., Meierkord, A., (Publications Office), 2018, 14 pages, ISBN 978-92-79- 79241-0. Review by Thobias Sarbunan.
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  28. On Evaluative Imprecision.Teruji Thomas - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 478-497.
    This chapter presents several arguments related to Parfit's notion of evaluative imprecision and his imprecisionist lexical view of population ethics. After sketching Parfit's view, it argues that, contrary to Parfit, imprecision and lexicality are both compatible with thinking about goodness in terms of positions on a scale of value. Then, by examining the role that imprecision is meant to play in defusing spectrum argument, it suggests that imprecision should be identified with vagueness. Next, it argues that there is space for (...)
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  29. J. S. Mill on Higher Pleasures and Modes of Existence.Tim Beaumont - 2021 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 21 (2(62)):251-68.
    The passage of Mill’s Utilitarianism that sets out the condition in which one pleasure has a superior quality than another stokes interpretive controversy. According to the Lexical Interpretation, Mill takes one pleasure, P1, to be of a superior quality than another, P2, if, and only if, the smallest quantity of P1 is more valuable than any finite quantity of P2. This paper argues that, while the Lexical Interpretation may be supported with supplementary evidence, the passage itself does not rule out (...)
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  30. Samuel Scheffler, Why Worry About Future Generations?, (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press), 2018. [REVIEW]Fausto Corvino - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):403-405.
  31. Towards a Phenomenological Axiology: Discovering What Matters.Roberta De Monticelli - 2021 - Springer Verlag.
    This book attempts to open up a path towards a phenomenological theory of values. By drawing on everyday experience, and dissociating the notion of value from that of tradition, it shows how emotional sensibility can be integrated to practical reason. This project was prompted by the persuasion that the fragility of democracy, and the current public irrelevance of the ideal principles which support it, largely depend on the inability of modern philosophy to overcome the well-entrenched skepticism about the power of (...)
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  32. Quantity, Quality, Equality: Introducing a New Measure of Social Welfare.Karin Enflo - 2021 - Social Choice and Welfare 57 (3):665–701.
    In this essay I propose a new measure of social welfare. It captures the intuitive idea that quantity, quality, and equality of individual welfare all matter for social welfare. More precisely, it satisfies six conditions: Equivalence, Dominance, Quality, Strict Monotonicity, Equality and Asymmetry. These state that i) populations equivalent in individual welfare are equal in social welfare; ii) a population that dominates another in individual welfare is better; iii) a population that has a higher average welfare than another population is (...)
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  33. Progress on the Problem of Evil.Seyyed Mohsen Eslami & Dan Egonsson - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (2):221-235.
    A standard reaction to the problem of evil is to look for a greater good that can explain why God (with the traditional attributes) might have created this world instead of a seemingly better one which has no (or less) evil. This paper proposes an approach we call the Moral Progress Approach: Given the value of progress, a non-perfect world containing evil may be preferable to a perfect world without evil. This makes room for the possibility that this world, with (...)
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  34. Verdad y universalidad: ¿una antinomia necesaria?José Ramón Fabelo Corzo - 2021 - Sophia, Colección de Filosofía de la Educación 31 (31):41-63.
    Entre las múltiples formas de violencia que los opresores históricamente han utilizado para imponer su lógica propia al universo humano que oprime, está la ‘violencia epistémica’. Ella se basa en el control monopólico de la ‘verdad’ y en el secuestro de la universalidad. Quienes la aplican buscan convencer a todos del carácter absoluto de sus supuestas verdades, de la universalidad cuasi-natural de sus maneras de pensar, de vivir, de organizarse socialmente. ‘Verdad’ y ‘universalidad’ se convierten en insoslayables objetos disputables entre (...)
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  35. ‘Let No-One Ignorant of Geometry…’: Mathematical Parallels for Understanding the Objectivity of Ethics.James Franklin - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55:1-20.
    It may be a myth that Plato wrote over the entrance to the Academy “Let no-one ignorant of geometry enter here.” But it is a well-chosen motto for his view in the Republic that mathematical training is especially productive of understanding in abstract realms, notably ethics. That view is sound and we should return to it. Ethical theory has been bedevilled by the idea that ethics is fundamentally about actions (right and wrong, rights, duties, virtues, dilemmas and so on). That (...)
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  36. Living Your Best Life.August Gorman - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):568-576.
    In Almost Over: Aging, Dying, Dead, Frances Kamm seeks to make sense of people’s widely variant choices about which lives they would choose to continue living. She does this by defending the Prudential Prerogative, which, in analogy to the Moral Prerogative, holds that in a fairly wide range of conditions we are under no intrapersonal rational obligation to choose either to die or to live on. I argue against Kamm's case for the Prudential Prerogative in favor of Life Holism, the (...)
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  37. On Liking Aesthetic Value.Keren Gorodeisky - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):261-280.
    According to tradition, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to a certain feeling of liking or pleasure. Is that true? Two answers are on offer in the field of aesthetics today: 1. The Hedonist answers: Yes, aesthetic value is non-contingently connected to pleasure insofar as this value is constituted and explained by the power of its possessors to please (under standard conditions). 2. The Non-Affectivist answers: No. At best, pleasure is contingently related to aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is (...)
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  38. Utilitarianism Without Moral Aggregation.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):256-269.
    Is an outcome where many people are saved and one person dies better than an outcome where the one is saved and the many die? According to the standard utilitarian justification, the former is better because it has a greater sum total of well-being. This justification involves a controversial form of moral aggregation, because it is based on a comparison between aggregates of different people's well-being. Still, an alternative justification-the Argument for Best Outcomes-does not involve moral aggregation. I extend the (...)
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  39. On Parfit’s Wide Person-Affecting Principle.Jonas Harney - 2021 - In Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Utility, Progress, and Technology: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies. Karlsruhe, Deutschland: pp. 69–78.
    Parfit (2017) proposed a novel principle for outcome betterness in different people and different number choices. It is claimed to solve the Non-Identity Problem while avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion, and it shall do so in person-affecting rather than in impersonal terms. According to this Wide Dual Person-Affecting Principle, one of two outcomes would be (i) in one way better if this outcome would together benefit people more, and (ii) in another way better if this outcome would benefit each person more. (...)
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  40. Against Seizing the Day.Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 11:91-111.
    On a widely accepted view, what gives meaning to our lives is success in valuable ground projects. However, philosophers like Kieran Setiya have recently challenged the value of such orientation towards the future, and argued that meaningful living is instead a matter of engaging in atelic activities that are complete in themselves at each moment. This chapter argues that insofar as what is at issue is meaningfulness in its primary existential sense, strongly atelic activities do not suffice for meaning. Instead, (...)
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  41. The Welfare-Nihilist Arguments Against Judgment Subjectivism.Anthony Bernard Kelley - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (3):291-310.
    Judgment subjectivism is the view that x is good for S if and only if, because, and to the extent that S believes, under the proper conditions, that x is good for S. In this paper, I offer three related arguments against the theory. The arguments are about what judgment subjectivism implies about the well-being of welfare nihilists, people who believe there are no welfare properties, or at least that none are instantiated. I maintain that welfare nihilists can be benefited (...)
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  42. Many-Valued Logic and Sequence Arguments in Value Theory.Simon Knutsson - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10793-10825.
    Some find it plausible that a sufficiently long duration of torture is worse than any duration of mild headaches. Similarly, it has been claimed that a million humans living great lives is better than any number of worm-like creatures feeling a few seconds of pleasure each. Some have related bad things to good things along the same lines. For example, one may hold that a future in which a sufficient number of beings experience a lifetime of torture is bad, regardless (...)
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  43. The Axiology of Theism.Klaas J. Kraay - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    Theism is the view that God exists; naturalism is the view that there are no supernatural beings, processes, mechanisms, or forces. This Element explores whether things are better, worse, or neither on theism relative to naturalism. It introduces readers to the central philosophical issues that bear on this question, and it distinguishes a wide range of ways it can be answered. It critically examines four views, three of which hold that things are better on theism than on naturalism, and one (...)
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  44. Subjectivism Without Idealization and Adaptive Preferences.Stéphane Lemaire - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (1):85-100.
    Subjectivism about well-being holds that an object contributes to one's well-being to the extent that one has a pro-attitude toward this object under certain conditions. Most subjectivists have contended that these conditions should be ideal. One reason in favor of this idea is that when people adapt their pro-attitudes to situations of oppression, the levels of well-being they may attain is diminished. Nevertheless, I first argue that appealing to idealized conditions of autonomy or any other condition to erase or replace (...)
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  45. Doxastic Divergence and the Problem of Comparability. Pragmatism Defended Further.Anne Meylan - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):199-216.
    Situations where it is not obvious which of two incompatible actions we ought to perform are commonplace. As has frequently been noted in the contemporary literature, a similar issue seems to arise in the field of beliefs. Cases of doxastic divergence are cases in which the subject seems subject to two divergent oughts to believe: an epistemic and a practical ought to believe. This article supports the moderate pragmatist view according to which subjects ought, all things considered, to hold the (...)
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  46. Inequality: Do Not Disperse.David O'Brien - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (2):193-203.
    Many egalitarians incorporate a concern for interpersonal welfare inequality as part of their favored axiology – that is, they take it to be a bad-making feature of outcomes. It is natural to think that, if inequality is in this sense a bad, it is an impersonal bad. This natural thought has been challenged. Some writers claim that egalitarian judgments can be accommodated by adopting an expanded view of a person's good, according to which being worse off than others is one (...)
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  47. Value Conservatism and Its Challenge to Consequentialism.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (3):337-352.
    G.A. Cohen’s value conservatism entails that we ought to preserve some existing sources of value in lieu of more valuable replacements, thereby repudiating maximizing consequentialism. Cohen motivates value conservatism through illustrative cases. The consequentialist, however, can explain many Cohen-style cases by taking extrinsic properties, such as historical significance, to be sources of final value. Nevertheless, it may be intuitive that there’s stronger reason to preserve than to promote certain sources of value, especially historically significant things. This motivates an argument that (...)
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  48. Theory and Practice of Contrast: Integrating Science, Art and Philosophy.Mariusz Stanowski (ed.) - 2021 - London: Crc Press.
    The book Theory and Practice of Contrast completes, corrects and integrates the foundations of science and humanities, which include: theory of art, philosophy (aesthetics, epistemology, ontology, axiology), cognitive science, theory of information, theory of complexity and physics. Through the integration of these distant disciplines, many unresolved issues in contemporary science have been clarified or better understood, among others: defining impact (contrast) and using this definition in different fields of knowledge; understanding what beauty/art is and what our aesthetic preferences depend on; (...)
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  49. Respecting the Nonhuman Other: Individual Natural Otherness and the Case for Incommensurability of Moral Standing.Anna Wienhues - 2021 - Environmental Values.
    The concept of natural otherness can be found throughout the environmental ethics literature. Drawing on this concept, this article pursues two aims. For one, it argues for an account of individual natural otherness as stable difference as opposed to accounts of natural otherness that put more emphasis on independence for the purpose of differentiating individual natural otherness from the concept of wildness. Secondly, this account of natural otherness is engaged to argue for a particular way of theorising the moral standing (...)
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  50. Infinite Aggregation.Hayden Wilkinson - 2021 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    Suppose you found that the universe around you was infinite—that it extended infinitely far in space or in time and, as a result, contained infinitely many persons. How should this change your moral decision-making? Radically, it seems, according to some philosophers. According to various recent arguments, any moral theory that is ’minimally aggregative’ will deliver absurd judgements in practice if the universe is (even remotely likely to be) infinite. This seems like sound justification for abandoning any such theory. -/- My (...)
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