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  1. A Taxonomy of Meta-Ethical Theories.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author contends that classifying theories in the field of meta-ethics along a single dimension misses important nuances in each theory. With the increased sophistication and complexity of meta-ethical analyses in the modern era, the traditional cognitivist–non-cognitivist and realist–anti-realist categories no longer function adequately. The author categorizes the various meta-ethical theories along three dimensions. These dimensions focus on the linguistic analysis offered by each theory, its metaphysical commitments and its degree of normative tolerance.
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  2. Meta-Ethics: An Introduction.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Meta-ethics is the area of philosophy in which thinkers explore the language and nature of moral discourse and its relations to other non-moral areas of life. In this introduction to the discipline written explicitly for novices, Leslie Allan outlines the key questions and areas of analysis in contemporary meta-ethics. In clear, tabular format, he summarizes the core concepts integral to each of the major meta-ethical positions and the strengths of each view. To prompt further thinking and reading, Allan explains briefly (...)
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  3. Naturalism, Normativity, and Explanation: The Scientistic Biases of Contemporary Naturalism.Guy Axtell - 1993 - Metaphilosophy 24 (3):253-274.
    The critical focus of this paper is on a claim made explicitly by Gilbert Harman and accepted implicitly by numerous others, the claim that naturalism supports concurrent defense of scientific objectivism and moral relativism. I challenge the assumptions of Harman's ‘argument from naturalism' used to support this combination of positions, utilizing. Hilary Putnam’s ‘companions in guilt’ argument in order to counter it. The paper concludes that while domain-specific anti-realism is often warranted, Harman’s own views about the objectivity of facts and (...)
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  4. Introduction.Carla Bagnoli - 2004 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):311-316.
    This volume collects articles in realism, anti-realism, and constructivism.
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  5. La Pretesa di Oggettività in Etica.Carla Bagnoli - 2000 - In Gabriele Usberti (ed.), Modelli di oggettività. Bompiani.
    Sembra esserci almeno un punto di accordo tra i filosofi morali: i giudizi etici, così come li usiamo nelle nostre conversazioni quotidiane, condividono una certa aspirazione all’oggettività. Vi è invece un disaccordo piuttosto acerbo rispetto alla questione se questa aspirazione sia giustificata o non sia invece una mera pretesa. Il disaccordo filosofico riguarda, cioè, la questione se i giudizi etici debbano e possano aspirare all’oggettività. Ma ancor più fondamentale è il disaccordo rispetto ai criteri con cui valutare se questa aspirazione (...)
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  6. Science's Immunity to Moral Refutation.Alex Barber - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):633-653.
    Our moral convictions cannot, on the face of it, count in evidence against scientific claims with which they happen to conflict. Moral anti-realists of whatever stripe can explain this easily: science is immune to moral refutation because moral discourse is defective as a trustworthy source of true and objective judgments. Moral realists, they can add, are unable to explain this immunity. After describing how anti-realists might implement this reasoning, the paper argues that the only plausible realist comeback turns on the (...)
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  7. The Empirical Study of Folk Metaethics.James R. Beebe - 2015 - Etyka 15.
    In this paper, I review recent attempts by experimental philosophers and psychologists to study folk metaethics empirically and discuss some of the difficulties that researchers face when trying to construct the right kind of research materials and interpreting the results that they obtain. At first glance, the findings obtained so far do not look good for the thesis that people are everywhere moral realists about every moral issue. However, because of difficulties in interpreting these results, I argue that better research (...)
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  8. Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan.James R. Beebe & David Sackris - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):912-929.
    We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...)
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  9. The Significance of Ethical Disagreement for Theories of Ethical Thought and Talk.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 275-291.
    This chapter has two sections, each focusing on a distinct way in which ethical disagreement and variations in ethical judgment matter for theories of ethical thought and talk. In the first section, we look at how the variation poses problems for both cognitivist and non-cognitivist ways of specifying the nature of ethical judgments. In the second, we look at how disagreement phenomena have been taken to undermine cognitivist accounts, but also at how the seeming variation in cognitive and non-cognitive contents (...)
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  10. Enoch's Defense of Robust Meta-Ethical Realism.Gunnar Björnsson & Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (1):101–112.
    Taking Morality Seriously is David Enoch’s book-length defense of meta-ethical and meta-normative non-naturalist realism. After describing Enoch’s position and outlining the argumentative strategy of the book, we engage in a critical discussion of what we take to be particularly problematic central passages. We focus on Enoch’s two original positive arguments for non-naturalist realism, one argument building on first order moral implications of different meta-ethical positions, the other attending to the rational commitment to normative facts inherent in practical deliberation. We also (...)
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  11. Disentangling the Thick Concept Argument.Olle Blomberg - 2007 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):63-78.
    Critics argue that non-cognitivism cannot adequately account for the existence and nature of some thick moral concepts. They use the existence of thick concepts as a lever in an argument against non-cognitivism, here called the Thick Concept Argument (TCA). While TCA is frequently invoked, it is unfortunately rarely articulated. In this paper, TCA is first reconstructed on the basis of John McDowell’s formulation of the argument (from 1981), and then evaluated in the light of several possible non-cognitivist responses. In general, (...)
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  12. Reconstruction in Moral Philosophy?Matthew Braddock & Alexander Rosenberg - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):63-80.
    We raise three issues for Philip Kitcher's "Ethical Project" (2011): First, we argue that the genealogy of morals starts well before the advent of altruism-failures and the need to remedy them, which Kitcher dates at about 50K years ago. Second, we challenge the likelihood of long term moral progress of the sort Kitcher requires to establish objectivity while circumventing Hume's challenge to avoid trying to derive normative conclusions from positive ones--'ought' from 'is'. Third, we sketch ways in which Kitcher's metaethical (...)
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  13. Review of Terence Cuneo's Speech and Morality: On the Metaethical Implications of Speaking. [REVIEW]Spencer Case - 2015 - Tradition and Discovery 42 (1):59-62.
  14. On the Meaning of 'Ought'.Matthew Chrisman - 2012 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 7. Oxford University Press. pp. 304.
    Discussions about the meaning of the word “ought” are pulled in two apparently competing directions. First, in ethical theory this word is used in the paradigmatic statement of ethical principles and conclusions about what some agent is obligated to do. This leads some ethical theorists to claim that the word “ought” describes a real relation, roughly, of being obligated to (realism) or expresses some non-cognitive attitude toward agents acting in certain ways (expressivism). Second, in theoretical linguistics this word is classified (...)
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  15. Against Deliberative Indispensability as an Independent Guide to What There Is.Brendan Cline - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3235-3254.
    David Enoch has recently proposed that the deliberative indispensability of irreducibly normative facts suffices to support their inclusion in our ontology, even if they are not necessary for the explanation of any observable phenomena. He challenges dissenters to point to a relevant asymmetry between explanation and deliberation that shows why explanatory indispensability, but not deliberative indispensability, is a legitimate guide to ontology. In this paper, I aim to do just that. Given that an entity figures in the actual explanation of (...)
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  16. Emotions, Morals, Modals.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    I scrutinize the relationship between the way emotions give rise to modal judgement and the metaphysical necessity we ascribe to the latter. While moral concepts are often described as response-dependent, I propose to analyse them as response-enabled or grokking. I discuss how grokkingness is embedded in the emotional mechanisms that provoke imaginative resistance; how it shapes our manifest image of the world and the place of morality in it; the latter’s deep contingency as contrasted to its metaphysical necessity; and what (...)
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  17. Allan Gibbard Meaning and Normativity. Oxford University Press, 2012. Xiv + 310 Pp. Isbn 9780199646074. [REVIEW]Daan Evers - 2015 - Theoria 81 (1):82-86.
  18. Moral Twin Earth, Intuitions, and Kind Terms.Heimir Geirsson - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):91-110.
    Horgan and Timmons, with their Moral Twin Earth arguments, argue that the new moral realism falls prey to either objectionable relativism or referential indeterminacy. The Moral Twin Earth thought experiment on which the arguments are based relies in crucial ways on the use of intuitions. First, it builds on Putnam’s well-known Twin Earth example and the conclusions drawn from that about the meaning of kind names. Further, it relies on the intuition that were Earthers and Twin Earthers to meet, they (...)
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  19. Natural Unity and Paradoxes of Legal Persons.James Goetz - 2014 - Journal Jurisprudence 21:27-46.
    This essay proposes an ontological model in which a legal person such as a polity possesses natural unity from group properties that emerge in the self-organization of the human population. Also, analysis of customary legal persons and property indicates noncontradictory paradoxes that include Aristotelian essence of an entity, relative identity over time, ubiquitous authority, coinciding authorities, and identical entities. Mathematical modeling helps to explain the logic of the paradoxes.
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  20. Genealogical Explanations of Chance and Morals.Toby Handfield - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    Objective chance and morality are rarely discussed together. In this paper, I argue that there is a surprising similarity in the epistemic standing of our beliefs about both objective chance and objective morality. The key similarity is that both of these sorts of belief are undermined -- in a limited, but important way -- by plausible genealogical accounts of the concepts that feature in these beliefs. The paper presents a brief account of Richard Joyce's evolutionary hypothesis of the genealogy of (...)
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  21. Why Insights in Evolutionary Moral Psychology Help Resolve Long-Standing Meta-Ethical Questions.Uri Harris - manuscript
    In this brief paper, I present some basic arguments for why insights in moral psychology, especially the work of Jonathan Haidt and others in Moral Foundations Theory, points towards a resolution of long-standing meta-ethical questions.
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  22. Is Moral Relativism Consistent?Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1985 - Analysis 45 (1):40-44.
    Let C1 and C2 be distinct moral codes formulated in English. Let C1 contain a norm N and C2 its negation. The paper construes the moral relativist as saying that if both codes are consistent, then, in the strongest sense of correctness applicable to moral norms, they are also both correct in the sense that they contain only correct moral norms. If we believe that the physical statements of English are true (false) in English, we will reject an analogous statement (...)
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  23. Tracking the Moral Truth: Debunking Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.Gerald L. Hull - manuscript
    Sharon Street’s 2006 article “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” challenges the epistemological pretensions of the moral realist, of the nonnaturalist in particular. Given that “Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes” – why should one suppose such attitudes and concomitant beliefs would track an independent moral reality? Especially since, on a nonnaturalist view, moral truth is causally inert. I abstract a logical skeleton of Street’s argument and, with its aid, (...)
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  24. On Believing the Error Theory.Alexander Hyun & Eric Sampson - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (11):631-640.
    In his recent article entitled ‘Can We Believe the Error Theory?’ Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible (for anyone, anywhere) to believe the error theory. This might sound like a problem for the error theory, but Streumer argues that it is not. He argues that the un-believability of the error theory offers a way for error theorists to respond to several objections commonly made against the view. In this paper, we respond to Streumer’s arguments. In particular, in sections 2-4, (...)
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  25. After Moral Error Theory, After Moral Realism.Stephen Ingram - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):227-248.
    Moral abolitionists recommend that we get rid of moral discourse and moral judgement. At first glance this seems repugnant, but abolitionists think that we have overestimated the practical value of our moral framework and that eliminating it would be in our interests. I argue that abolitionism has a surprising amount going for it. Traditionally, abolitionism has been treated as an option available to moral error theorists. Error theorists say that moral discourse and judgement are committed to the existence of moral (...)
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  26. Does Metaethics Rest on a Mistake? [REVIEW]Mark Eli Kalderon - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):129-138.
    Review of part one of Ronald Dworkin's Justice for Hedgehogs.
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  27. Evolutionary Debunking: The Milvian Bridge Destabilized.Christos Kyriacou - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Recent literature has paid attention to a demarcation problem for evolutionary debunking arguments. This is the problem of asking in virtue of what regulative metaepistemic norm evolutionary considerations either render a belief justified, or debunk it as unjustified. I examine the so-called ‘Milvian Bridge principle’ (cf. Griffiths and Wilkins (2012, 2015)), which offers exactly such a called for regulative metaepistemic norm. The Milvian Bridge principle suggests that the metaepistemic norm is: adaptive reliability for truth of cognitive processes that the existence (...)
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  28. A Precise Meaning for Objective and Subjective in Value Theory.Harold N. Lee - 1940 - Journal of Philosophy 37 (23):626-637.
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  29. Projection, Indeterminacy and Moral Skepticism.Hallvard Lillehammer - forthcoming - In Diego Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York, USA: Routledge.
  30. A Distinction Without a Difference? Good Advice for Moral Error Theorists.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2013 - Ratio 26 (3):373-390.
    This paper explores the prospects of different forms of moral error theory. It is argued that only a suitably local error theory would make good sense of the fact that it is possible to give and receive genuinely good moral advice.
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  31. The Companions in Guilt Strategy.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
  32. Darwinian Normative Skepticism.Dustin Locke - 2014 - In Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press.
    Sharon Street (2006) has argued that, given certain plausible evolutionary considerations, normative realism leads to normative skepticism. Street calls this ‘the Darwinian dilemma’. This paper considers the two most popular responses to the Darwinian dilemma and argues that both are problematic. According to the naturalist response, the evolutionary account of our normative dispositions reveals that there was selection for normative dispositions that were reliable with respect to normative truth. According to the minimalist response, the evolutionary account reveals that there was (...)
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  33. Moral Explanations of Moral Beliefs.Don Loeb - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):193–208.
    Gilbert Harman and Judith Thomson have argued that moral facts cannot explain our moral beliefs, claiming that such facts could not play a causal role in the formation of those beliefs. This paper shows these arguments to be misguided, for they would require that we abandon any number of intuitively plausible explanations in non-moral contexts as well. But abandoning the causal strand in the argument over moral explanations does not spell immediate victory for the moral realist, since it must still (...)
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  34. Review of Speech and Morality: On the Metaethical Implications of Speaking. [REVIEW]James Edwin Mahon - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2016.
    In this review I examine Cuneo's comparison of the non-normative, perlocutionary-intention theory of speech acts (Grice) with the normative theory of speech acts (Searle and Alston) and the moral theory of speech acts (Wolterstorff, Cuneo) in his transcendental argument for moral realism (since moral facts are among the necessary conditions for the possibility of speech acts, and since there are speech acts (asserting, promising, asking questions, issuing commands, etc.), it follows that moral facts exist). I argue that Cuneo does not (...)
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  35. Atheism, Amorality, and Animals.Joel Marks - 2011 - The New York Times.
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  36. Confessions of an Ex-Moralist.Joel Marks - 2011 - The New York Times.
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  37. Ethics Without Morals by Joel Marks. [REVIEW]Bill Meacham - 2014 - Philosophy Now 103:42-44.
    Book review. The author incisively defends moral anti-realism. He advises that one should act only on one's considered desires, not on moral absolutes. But he fails to give guidance about what is important or advisable to desire.
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  38. The Moral Landscape.Bill Meacham - 2012 - Philosophy Now 90:42-44.
    Book Review. The author asserts that scientific inquiry can tell us what we should and should not value. He says that the proper meaning of "morality" is that which leads to human flourishing and that careful observation of what in fact fulfils people is not a matter of philosophical or religious debate but rather a matter of scientific inquiry. But he fails to make the move from concern for one's own well being to concern for the well being of conscious (...)
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  39. Justice for Unicorns.Eliot Michaelson - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (3pt3):351-360.
    Many philosophers have suggested that metaethical scepticism is an inherently unstable position. Recently, Dworkin has offered an argument to this effect, claiming that (a) metaethical scepticism entails a set of first-order moral claims, and (b) this set of claims is internally inconsistent. The present essay shows why this argument fails. Along the way, it situates a plausible anti-realist semantics within the range of options for dealing with uncontroversially non-referring terms, like ‘unicorns’.
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  40. Resources for the Fields of Metaethics and Normative Theory.Christian Miller - 2011 - In Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 293.
    This is a comprehensive list of websites for resources pertaining to meta-ethics and normative ethics. It is current up to 2010.
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  41. The Conditions of Moral Realism.Christian Miller - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:123-155.
    In this paper, I hope to provide an account of the conditions of moral realism whereby there are still significant metaphysical commitments made by the realist which set the view apart as a distinct position in the contemporary meta-ethical landscape. In order to do so, I will be appealing to a general account of what it is for realism to be true in any domain of experience, whether it be realism about universals, realism about unobservable scientific entities, realism about artifacts, (...)
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  42. Duncan-Jones on Moral Error.Jan Narveson - 1967 - Analysis 27 (3):111 - 112.
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  43. Metaphysics and the Good: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams.Samuel Newlands & Larry M. Jorgensen (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Throughout his philosophical career at Michigan, UCLA, Yale, and Oxford, Robert Merrihew Adams's wide-ranging contributions have deeply shaped the structure of debates in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and ethics. Metaphysics and the Good: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams provides, for the first time, a collection of original essays by leading philosophers dedicated to exploring many of the facets of Adams's thought, a philosophical outlook that combines Christian theism, neo-Platonism, moral realism, metaphysical idealism, and a (...)
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  44. Hume, the BAD Paradox, and Value Realism.Graham Oddie - 2001 - Philo 4 (2):109-122.
    A recent slew of arguments, if sound, would demonstrate that realism about value involves a kind of paradox-I call it the BAD paradox.More precisely, they show that if there are genuine propositions about the good, then one could maintain harmony between one’s desires and one’s beliefs about the good only on pain of violating fundamental principles of decision theory. I show. however, the BAD paradox turns out to be a version of Newcomb’s problem, and that the cognitivist about value can (...)
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  45. Review of Sabina Lovibond:Realism and Imagination in Ethics. [REVIEW]Charles Pigden - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):313-315.
    A critique of a kind of 'moral realism' that is in fact a rather thinly disguised version of global historicist idealism. If you don't like the idea that facts are hard and values are soft, you can pump up the values to make them as hard as the facts or soften down the facts to make them as soggy as the values. Lovibond prefers the latter strategy. After some critical remarks about Lovibond's book (including its implicit authoritarianism) I conclude with (...)
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  46. Book Review: The Domain of Reasons. [REVIEW]Andrew Reisner - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (4):661-664.
    A review of John Skorupski's The Domain of Reasons.
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  47. Metaethics for Everyone.Andrew Reisner - 2010 - Problema 4:39-64.
    As Dworkin puts it: moral scepticism is a moral view. This is in contrast to the more popular idea that the real challenge for moral realism is external scepticism, scepticism which arises because of non-moral considerations about the metaphysics of morality. I, too, do not concur with Dworkin’s strongest conclusions about the viability of external scepticism. But, I think his criticism of error scepticism offers a much needed corrective to more traditional metaethical projects. My aim in this paper is to (...)
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  48. 'Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics'.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
  49. 'It's Evaluation, Only Thicker'.Debbie Roberts - 2013 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts. Oxford University Press.
  50. Shapelessness and the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):489-520.
    This article aims to clarify the view that thick concepts are irreducibly thick. I do this by putting the disentangling argument in its place and then setting out what nonreductivists about the thick are committed to. To distinguish the view from possible reductive accounts, defenders of irreducible thickness are, I argue, committed to the claim that evaluative concepts and properties are nonevaluatively shapeless. This in turn requires a commitment to (radical) holism and particularism. Nonreductivists are also committed to the claim (...)
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