Moral Rationalism

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. added 2020-05-08
    Morality and Practical Reasons.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
    As Socrates famously noted, there is perhaps no more important question than how we ought to live. And the answer to this question depends on how the reasons that we have for living in various different ways combine and compete. To illustrate, suppose that I’ve just received a substantial raise from my employer. What should I do with the extra money? It seems that I have most moral reason to donate it to effective charities but most self-interested reason to spend (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-30
    Immorality and Irrationality.Alex Worsnip* - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    Does immorality necessarily involve irrationality? The question is often taken to be among the deepest in moral philosophy. But apparently deep questions sometimes admit of deflationary answers. In this case we can make way for a deflationary answer by appealing to dualism about rationality, according to which there are two fundamentally distinct notions of rationality: structural rationality and substantive rationality. I have defended dualism elsewhere. Here, I’ll argue that it allows us to embrace a sensible – I will not say (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-27
    Rationalism in Ethics.Noell Birondo - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley. pp. 4329-4338.
    The word 'rationalism,' as it appears in philosophical discussions of ethics and morality, signifies at least one of a cluster of theses, each of which connects some aspect of ethical experience to reason or rationality. The most provocative rationalist thesis arises in contemporary discussions in metaethics; and it is this thesis that remains the most likely referent, in contemporary discussions, of the phrase 'moral rationalism.' The thesis is more accurately referred to, however, as metaethical rationalism, since it concerns the provenance (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-13
    A Brief Explanation of Kant's Enlightenment Article.Florian Millo - 2020
    A presentation of Kant's idea for enlightenment process that was happening at that time. I try to be objective as it is needed to give a thorough explanation for what was the main subject in this process. Kant explains the main idea of enlightenment and describes it with examples for which stands descriptive and understandable for that period.
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  5. added 2020-04-08
    Cooperative Intuitionism.Stephen Ingram - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to pluralistic intuitionist theories, some of our moral beliefs are non-inferentially justified, and these beliefs come in both an a priori and an a posteriori variety. In this paper I present new support for this pluralistic form of intuitionism by examining the deeply social nature of moral inquiry. This is something that intuitionists have tended to neglect. It does play an important role in an intuitionist theory offered by Bengson, Cuneo, and Shafer-Landau (forth), but whilst they invoke the social (...)
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  6. added 2020-03-03
    Analyzing Debunking Arguments in Moral Psychology: Beyond the Counterfactual Analysis of Influence by Irrelevant Factors.Joanna Demaree-Cotton - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (e151):15-17.
    May assumes that if moral beliefs are counterfactually dependent on irrelevant factors, then those moral beliefs are based on defective belief-forming processes. This assumption is false. Whether influence by irrelevant factors is debunking depends on the mechanisms through which this influence occurs. This raises the empirical bar for debunkers and helps May avoid an objection to his Debunker’s Dilemma.
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  7. added 2020-02-08
    Rationalism, Realism, and Relativism: Perspectives in Contemporary Moral Epistemology.Stephen J. Sullivan - 1989 - Ethics 101 (2):406-408.
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    A Conflict in Common Sense Moral Psychology.Aaron Z. Zimmerman - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (4):401-423.
    Ordinary thinking about morality and rationality is inconsistent. To arrive at a view of morality that is as faithful to common thought as consistency will allow we must admit that it is not always irrational to knowingly act against the weight of reasons.
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  9. added 2019-05-31
    Michael Smith and the Rationality of Immoral Action.Joshua Gert - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (1):1-23.
    Although it goes against a widespread significant misunderstanding of his view, Michael Smith is one of the very few moral philosophers who explicitly wants to allow for the commonsense claim that, while morally required action is always favored by some reason, selfish and immoral action can also be rationally permissible. One point of this paper is to make it clear that this is indeed Smith's view. It is a further point to show that his way of accommodating this claim is (...)
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  10. added 2018-12-14
    What Sentimentalists Should Say About Emotions.Charlie Kurth - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Recent work by emotion researchers indicates that emotions have a multi-level structure. Sophisticated sentimentalists should take note of this work—for it better enables them to defend a substantive role for emotion in moral cognition. Contra the rationalist criticisms of May 2018, emotions are not only able to carry morally relevant information but can also substantially influence moral judgment and reasoning.
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  11. added 2018-12-07
    What Is Sentimentalism? What Is Rationalism? Commentary on Joshua May.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
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  12. added 2018-08-18
    Towards an Ecumenical Theory of Normative Reasons.Caj Sixten Strandberg - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):69-100.
    A theory of normative reasons for action faces the fundamental challenge of accounting for the dual nature of reasons. On the one hand, some reasons appear to depend on, and vary with, desires. On the other hand, some reasons appear categorical in the sense of being desire‐independent. However, it has turned out to be difficult to provide a theory that accommodates both these aspects. Internalism is able to account for the former aspect, but has difficulties to account for the latter, (...)
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  13. added 2018-08-11
    Moral Reasoning and Emotion.Joshua May & Victor Kumar - 2018 - In Karen Jones, Mark Timmons & Aaron Zimmerman (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 139-156.
    This chapter discusses contemporary scientific research on the role of reason and emotion in moral judgment. The literature suggests that moral judgment is influenced by both reasoning and emotion separately, but there is also emerging evidence of the interaction between the two. While there are clear implications for the rationalism-sentimentalism debate, we conclude that important questions remain open about how central emotion is to moral judgment. We also suggest ways in which moral philosophy is not only guided by empirical research (...)
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  14. added 2018-07-23
    Why Conceptual Competence Won’T Help the Non-Naturalist Epistemologist.Preston J. Werner - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):616-637.
    Non-naturalist normative realists face an epistemological objection: They must explain how their preferred route of justification ensures a non-accidental connection between justified moral beliefs and the normative truths. One strategy for meeting this challenge begins by pointing out that we are semantically or conceptually competent in our use of the normative terms, and then argues that this competence guarantees the non-accidental truth of some of our first-order normative beliefs. In this paper, I argue against this strategy by illustrating that this (...)
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  15. added 2018-07-22
    Ethische Wirklichkeit. Objektivität und Vernünftigkeit der Ethik aus pragmatistischer Perspektive.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2012 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    Das Buch "Ethische Wirklichkeit" liefert eine Verteidigung von zwei Grundannahmen des ethischen Diskurses, die schon immer philosophischen Zweifeln ausgesetzt waren: erstens der Annahme der Wahrheitsfähigkeit ethischer Urteile, zweitens der Annahme der Vernünftigkeit der Befolgung angemessener ethischer Forderungen. Hauptbezugspunkte der Arbeit sind dabei Ludwig Wittgenstein und Robert Brandom. Mit ihnen wird gezeigt, dass die Bedeutung propositional gehaltvoller Ausdrücke auf der fundamentalen Ebene in ihren internen Beziehungen mit weiteren Ausdrücken sowie mit nichtsprachlichen Verrichtungen besteht. Mit dieser Idee wird nicht nur der ethische (...)
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  16. added 2018-06-22
    “Reflective Efficacy. On Neil Sinhababu Humean Nature".Carla Bagnoli - 2018 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia E Psicologia 1 (9):67-72.
    This is a contribution to the symposium on Neil Sinhababu Humean Nature.
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  17. added 2018-06-21
    Constrained by Reason, Transformed by Love: Murdoch on the Standard of Proof.Carla Bagnoli - 2018 - In Browning Gary (ed.), Truth and Love. London: London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 63-88.
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  18. added 2018-05-15
    “Yes, the Theory is Abstemious, But...”: A Critique of Yehezkel.Regan Lance Reitsma - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):59-79.
    This article is a critique of Gal Yehezkel’s attempt to refute subjectivism about normative practical reasons, a school of thought inspired by Hume. Yehezkel believes reason, far from being, as Hume puts it, “the slave of the passions,” has the normative authority to be a critic of basic desires and argues that subjectivism lacks the theoretical resources both to acknowledge this alleged truth and to analyze the distinction between wanting an outcome and intending to pursue it. I contend his refutation (...)
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  19. added 2018-03-11
    Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
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  20. added 2017-10-30
    Naturalistic Moral Realism, Moral Rationalism, and Non-Fundamental Epistemology.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - In Karen Jones & Francois Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford University Press.
    This paper takes up an important epistemological challenge to the naturalistic moral realist: that her metaphysical commitments are difficult to square with a plausible rationalist view about the epistemology of morality.The paper begins by clarifying and generalizing this challenge. It then illustrates how the generalized challenge can be answered by a form of naturalistic moral realism that I dub joint-carving moral realism. Both my framing of this challenge and my answer advertise the methodological significance of non-fundamental epistemological theorizing, which defends (...)
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  21. added 2017-10-17
    Review of Ethical Intuitionism: Re-Evaluations. [REVIEW]Pekka Väyrynen - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):159-63.
    This piece is a short review of a volume of papers on ethical intuitionism (Ethical Intuitionism: Re-evaluations, ed. Philip Stratton-Lake, Oxford University Press, 2002).
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  22. added 2017-03-29
    Moral Fixed Points and Conceptual Deficiency: Reply to Ingram (2015).Kyriacou Christos - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2017 (3):1-9.
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  23. added 2017-02-28
    The Enterprise of Socratic Metaethics.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2000 - In Naomi Zack (ed.), Women of Color and Philosophy, A Critical Reader. London: Blackwell. pp. 91-131.
    That human beings have the potential for rationality and the ability to cultivate it is a fact of human nature. But to value rationality and its subsidiary character dispositions - impartiality, intellectual discrimination, foresight, deliberation, prudence, self-reflection, self-control - is another matter entirely. -/- I am going to take it as a given that if a person's freedom to act on her impulses and gratify her desires is constrained by the existence of others' equal, or more powerful, conflicting impulses and (...)
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  24. added 2017-02-15
    The Nature of Virtue.Dario Perinetti - 2013 - In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 333.
    This chapter examines the different answers that British moralists gave to the question ‘what does virtue consist in?’ Rather than as a royal road to present-day views in ethics, their answers are best understood when considered against the background of early modern natural law theories and their projected metaphysics of morals. The emerging ‘science of morality’ dealt with the metaphysical problem of determining what sort of thing virtue is. Considered from this vantage point, the British moralists struggled with the problem (...)
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  25. added 2017-02-09
    The Rise of Western Rationalism: Max Weber's Developmental History.N. T. H. - 1982 - Review of Metaphysics 36 (1):194-196.
    Max Weber's dominant scholarly concern was the development of rationalism in the West. He exemplified his interest in this theme in his two great works, Economy and Society and The Economic Ethics of the World Religions. In Wolfgang Schluchter's new book, The Rise of Western Rationalism: Max Weber's Developmental History, the author presents an analysis and re-evaluation of Weber's sociology of Western rationalism. He also wants to show Weber's relation to the sociological school of neo-evolutionism. By an examination of Weber's (...)
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  26. added 2017-02-07
    Can a Rationalist Be Rational About His Rationalism?Sheldon Richmond - 1971 - Philosophy 46 (175):54 - 55.
  27. added 2017-01-26
    Morphological Rationalism: Making Room for Moral Principles.T. Horgan & M. Timmons - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):279-295.
    According to rationalism regarding the psychology of moral judgment, people’s moral judgments are generally the result of a process of reasoning that relies on moral principles or rules. By contrast, intuitionist models of moral judgment hold that people generally come to have moral judgments about particular cases on the basis of gut-level, emotion-driven intuition, and do so without reliance on reasoning and hence without reliance on moral principles. In recent years the intuitionist model has been forcefully defended by Jonathan Haidt. (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-14
    Deflationism, Rationalism, and Anti-Rationalism: Three Views of Superego Morality.Ching Wa Wong - 2015 - Open Journal of Philosophy 5 (6):374-383.
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  29. added 2017-01-03
    Intuition, Self-Evidence,and Understanding.Stratton-Lake Philip - 2016 - In Russ Shafer Landau (ed.), Oxford Studes in Meta Ethics. Oxford: OUP. pp. 28-44.
    Here I criticise Audi's account of self-evidece. I deny that understanding of a proposition can justify belief in it and offfer an account of intuition that can take the place of understanding in an account of self-evidence.
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  30. added 2016-12-12
    Ethics and the a Priori: Selected Essays on Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics.Michael Smith - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    Michael Smith has written a series of seminal essays about the nature of belief and desire, the status of normative judgment, and the relevance of the views we take on both these topics to the accounts we give of our nature as free and responsible agents. This long awaited collection comprises some of the most influential of Smith's essays. Among the topics covered are: the Humean theory of motivating reasons, the nature of normative reasons, Williams and Korsgaard on internal and (...)
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  31. added 2016-12-12
    Making Moral Sense: Beyond Habermas and Gauthier.Logi Gunnarsson - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    Is it rational to be moral? Can moral disputes be settled rationally? Which criteria determine what we have a good reason to do? In this innovative book, Logi Gunnarsson takes issue with the assumption made by many philosophers faced with the problem of reconciling moral norms with a scientific world view, namely that morality must be offered a non-moral justification based on a formal concept of rationality. He argues that the criteria for the rationality of an action are irreducibly substantive, (...)
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  32. added 2016-12-12
    Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics.David Owen Brink - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a systematic and constructive treatment of a number of traditional issues at the foundation of ethics, the possibility and nature of moral knowledge, the relationship between the moral point of view and a scientific or naturalistic world view, the nature of moral value and obligation, and the role of morality in a person's rational life plan. In striking contrast to many traditional authors and to other recent writers in the field, David Brink offers an integrated defense of (...)
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  33. added 2016-12-08
    Morphological Rationalism and the Psychology of Moral Judgment.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):279-295.
    According to rationalism regarding the psychology of moral judgment, people’s moral judgments are generally the result of a process of reasoning that relies on moral principles or rules. By contrast, intuitionist models of moral judgment hold that people generally come to have moral judgments about particular cases on the basis of gut-level, emotion-driven intuition, and do so without reliance on reasoning and hence without reliance on moral principles. In recent years the intuitionist model has been forcefully defended by Jonathan Haidt. (...)
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  34. added 2016-12-08
    Rational Moralists and Moral Rationalists Value-Based Management: Model, Criterion and Validation.P. Michael McCullough & Sam Faught - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 60 (2):195-205.
    This paper considers ethical decision making by blending three streams of related research: cognitive moral development of the decision maker, rational choice theory and a subjective expected utility model. Ethical dilemmas can be defined as situations where moral certainty is compromised by rational cognition. In this paper, the authors assume that some people use a morality-first perspective and others a rationality-first perspective. Ethical scenarios were written and used to test hypotheses derived from this perspective. The instrument developed was shown to (...)
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  35. added 2016-12-05
    Moral Requirements Are Still Not Rational Requirements.Paul Noordhof - 1999 - Analysis 59 (3):127-136.
    Moral requirements apply to rational agents as such. But it is a conceptual truth that if agents are morally required to act in a certain way then we expect them to act in that way. Being rational, as such, must therefore suffice to ground our expectation that rational agents will do what they are morally required to do. But how could this be so? It could only be so if we think of the moral requirements that apply to agents as (...)
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  36. added 2016-10-12
    Kant in Metaethics: The Paradox of Moral Autonomy, Solved by Publicity.Carla Bagnoli - 2017 - In M. Altman (ed.), Kant Handbook. Palgrave. pp. 355-377.
    This chapter aims to situate Kant’s account of practical reason in metaethical debates. First, it explains the reasons why it is legitimate and instructive to discuss Kant’s relevance in contemporary metaethics, hence addressing some issues about the intended scope of metaethics and its relation to practical reason and psychology. Second, it defends an interpretation of Kant’s conception of autonomy, which avoids some paradoxes traditionally associated with self-legislation. Third, it shows that constructivism best captures Kant’s conception of practical reason and of (...)
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  37. added 2016-09-29
    Hypothetical Justifications.Bernd Lahno - 2009 - RMM:67-82.
    A basic conviction in moral non-cognitivism is: only hypothetical norms may be justified. Hartmut Kliemt argues for a moderate variant: there are only hypothetical justifications of norms whether the norms are hypothetical or categorical in kind. In this paper the con- cept of ‘hypothetical justification’ is analyzed. It is argued that hypothetical justifications are not of the kind that we should look for in normative ethics.
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  38. added 2016-09-15
    Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 2 : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
    In the second half of this essay, I discuss the robust conception of rationality that lies at the heart of the Kantian version of Rationalist Constructivism – offering some reasons to prefer this conception to the more minimal accounts of rationality associated with Humean views. I then go on to discuss some of the potential metaethical advantages of the resulting form of constructivism.
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  39. added 2016-09-15
    Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 1 : Realism and Constructivism in a Kantian Context.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):690-701.
    Metaethical constructivism is one of the main movements within contemporary metaethics – especially among those with Kantian inclinations. But both the philosophical coherence and the Kantian pedigree of constructivism are hotly contested. In the first half of this article, I first explore the sense in which Kant's own views might be described as constructivist and then use the resulting understanding as a guide to how we might think about Kantian constructivism today. Along the way, I hope to suggest that a (...)
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  40. added 2016-09-15
    Wittwer, Ist es vernünftig, moralisch zu handeln? [REVIEW]Fabian Wendt - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):279-280.
  41. added 2016-09-02
    Ethics and the Nature of Action.Heine A. Holmen - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Oslo
    The following thesis starts from the question «why be moral?» and adresses an action-theoretic strategy for answering this question in the positive by reference to the constitutive natur of actions. In these debates, the epistemology of action has turned into a central issue. The thesis adresses these debates and develops a novel account of the epistemology: an account that may well turn out to provide a ground for the aforementioned constitutivist strategies.
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  42. added 2016-05-30
    Epistemic Perceptualism and Neo-Sentimentalist Objections.Robert Cowan - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):59-81.
    Epistemic Perceptualists claim that emotions are sources of immediate defeasible justification for evaluative propositions that can sometimes ground undefeated immediately justified evaluative beliefs. For example, fear can constitute the justificatory ground for a belief that some object or event is dangerous. Despite its attractiveness, the view is apparently vulnerable to several objections. In this paper, I provide a limited defence of Epistemic Perceptualism by responding to a family of objections which all take as a premise a popular and attractive view (...)
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  43. added 2016-04-01
    A New Moral Sentimentalism.Eric Vogelstein - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):346-368.
    This paper argues for a novel sentimentalist realist metaethical theory, according to which moral wrongness is analyzed in terms of the sentiments one has most reason to have. As opposed to standard sentimentalist views, the theory does not employ sentiments that are had in response to morally wrong action, but rather sentiments that antecedently dispose people to refrain from immoral behavior, specifically the sentiments of compassion and respect.
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  44. added 2015-11-10
    Roger Crisp, Reasons and the Good (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 2008 - Rivista di Filosofia 99 (2):329-30.
  45. added 2015-10-09
    Kant's Theory of Moral Motivation: The Construction of a Rationalist Internalism.Mark Timmons - 1982 - Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    My aim in this work is to consider Kant's ethical theory against the background of the main traditions in ethics which Kant opposed, especially ethical empiricism. I argue that the central issue that divided Kant and the opposed traditions concerns moral motivation. As Kant characterized ethical empiricism, and in general all opposed ethical theories, such theories adopted an Aristotelian view of human motivation according to which all action is based on desires. Kant argued that such ethical theories did not allow (...)
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  46. added 2015-09-09
    Self-Evidence and A Priori Moral Knowledge.Elizabeth Tropman - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (33):459-467.
    According to rationalists about moral knowledge, some moral truths are knowable a priori. Rationalists often defend their position by claiming that some moral propositions are self-evidently true. Copp 2007 has recently challenged this rationalist strategy. Copp argues that even if some moral propositions are self-evident, this is not enough to secure rationalism about moral knowledge, since it turns out that such self-evident propositions are only knowable a posteriori. This paper considers the merits of Copp’s challenge. After clarifying the rationalists’ appeal (...)
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  47. added 2015-09-03
    Knowledge to Wisdom: We Need a Revolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (3):377-378.
    The following document is a very brief summary of a thesis and argument that I have devoted the last 30 years of my life to trying to get across to my fellow human beings. It was first spelled out in What’s Wrong With Science? (Bran’s Head Books, 1976) and subsequently in From Knowledge to Wisdom (Blackwell, 1984), Is Science Neurotic? (Imperial College Press, 2004) and numerous articles, references to which can be found on http://​www.​ucl.ac.uk/from-knowledge-to-wisdom . Three years ago an international (...)
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  48. added 2015-05-27
    Review of Kieran Setiya’s Knowing Right From Wrong.Charlie Kurth - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2013.
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  49. added 2015-04-05
    Making Moral Sense: Substantive Critique as an Alternative to Rationalism in Ethics.Logi Gunnarsson - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    It is commonly supposed that morality faces a justificatory crisis. Rationalism seeks to resolve this crisis by means of a direct response to the moral sceptic--to the person who doubts that there is a rational way of deciding what moral position to adopt or whether to be moral at all. I argue that the very aspirations of rationalism--to seek a refutation of the sceptic that concedes her initial standpoint and to base morality on a formal concept of rationality--are misguided. As (...)
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  50. added 2015-04-04
    Gewirth's Ethical Rationalism.Edward Regis - 1986 - Philosophy 61 (235):137-138.
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