Moral Skepticism

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. Skepticism in Ethics.Deborah Achtenberg - 1991 - Review of Metaphysics 44 (4):835-836.
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  2. The Good and the Gross.Alexandra Plakias - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):261-278.
    Recent empirical studies have established that disgust plays a role in moral judgment. The normative significance of this discovery remains an object of philosophical contention, however; ‘disgust skeptics’ such as Martha Nussbaum have argued that disgust is a distorting influence on moral judgment and has no legitimate role to play in assessments of moral wrongness. I argue, pace Nussbaum, that disgust’s role in the moral domain parallels its role in the physical domain. Just as physical disgust tracks physical contamination and (...)
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  3. Hume and Reason : A Sceptical Theory of Morality and Law.James Allan - unknown
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  4. Scepticism, Rights and Utility.James Plunkett Allan - 1998 - Ratio Juris 11 (4):413-424.
  5. Theism as Theory and the Problem of Evil.William P. Alston - 1995 - Topoi 14 (2):135-148.
    Theism is a metaphysical theory. But the typical adherent of a theistic religion does not hold theism as a theory, even though she is committed to various propositions that could enter into such a theory. Attention is given to the kind of theory theism is, when it is a theory. As far as religion is concerned, the main importance of the question as to whether theism is a theory concerns the issue as to whether the success of theism as a (...)
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  6. Review of Panayot Butchvarov: Skepticism in Ethics. [REVIEW]Thomas Anderberg - 1990 - Theoria 56 (1/2):112.
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  7. Skeptical Theism and Value Judgments.David James Anderson - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (1):27-39.
    One of the most prominent objections to skeptical theism in recent literature is that the skeptical theist is forced to deny our competency in making judgments about the all-things-considered value of any natural event. Some skeptical theists accept that their view has this implication, but argue that it is not problematic. I think that there is reason to question the implication itself. I begin by explaining the objection to skeptical theism and the standard response to it. I then identify an (...)
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  8. Moral Skepticism and the Way of Escape.A. E. Avey - 1937 - International Journal of Ethics 47 (4):451-460.
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  9. Superson, Anita M. The Moral Skeptic . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009 . Pp. 250. $24.95 (Paper).Neera K. Badhwar - 2010 - Ethics 120 (3):635-639.
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  10. The Sceptical Ethicist.Julian Baggini - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 13:37-39.
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  11. Moral Skepticism and Moral Knowledge.Renford Bambrough - 1979 - Routledge + Kegan Paul.
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  12. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts (...)
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  13. Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 7, Edited by R. Shafer-Landau. [REVIEW]Dan Baras - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (3):359-362.
    This review article focuses on David Copp's article 'Experiments, Intuitions, and Methodology in Moral and Political Theory'. Copp argues that recent developments in moral psychology challenge the common method in ethics, which infers moral truths from moral intuitions, as these intuitions are shown to likely be unreliable. Copp responds to the worry by arguing that even if moral intuitions cannot be trusted to indicate objective moral truths, the common method remains valuable for other reasons. In this article I raise several (...)
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  14. Review - The New Intuitionism. [REVIEW]Dan Baras - 2012 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 16 (49).
    In this review article I focus on Walter-Sinnott-Armstrong's critique of moral intuitionism. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that recent discoveries by empirical psychologists undermine the plausibility of moral intuitionism. In response, I list a number of potential ways in which moral intuitionists might defend their view.
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  15. The Moral Argument of Theism.George A. Barrow - 1911 - Philosophical Review 20:461.
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  16. Reflective Equilibrium.Robert Bass - 2010 - In Nils Rauhut & Robert Bass (eds.), Readings on the Ultimate Questions - Third Edition. Pearson.
    An explanation and defense of the use of reflective equilibrium in ethics.
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  17. Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Skepticism: A Murdochian Response.Gerald Beaulieu - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (3):673-678.
    Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has recently criticized moral intuitionism by bringing to light some compelling empirical evidence indicating that we are unreliable at forming moral judgments non-inferentially. The evidence shows that our non-inferentially arrived-at moral convictions are subject to framing effects; that is, they vary depending on how the situation judged is described. Thomas Nadelhoffer and Adam Feltz, following in Sinnott-Armstrong's footsteps, have appealed to research indicating that such judgments are also subject to actor-observer bias; that is, they vary depending on whether (...)
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  18. No Coincidence?Matthew Bedke - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:102-125.
    This paper critically examines coincidence arguments and evolutionary debunking arguments against non-naturalist realism in metaethics. It advances a version of these arguments that goes roughly like this: Given a non-naturalist, realist metaethic, it would be cosmically coincidental if our first order normative beliefs were true. This coincidence undermines any prima facie justification enjoyed by those beliefs.
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  19. Suffering and Theory: Max Horkheimer's Early Essays and Contemporary Moral Philosophy.J. C. Berendzen - 2010 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (9):1019-1037.
    Max Horkheimer does not generally receive the scholarly attention given to other ‘Frankfurt School’ figures. This is in part because his early work seems contradictory, or unphilosophical. For example, Horkheimer seems, at various points (to use contemporary metaethical terms), like a constructivist, a moral realist, or a moral skeptic, and it is not clear how these views cohere. The goal of this article is to show that the contradictions regarding moral theory exist largely on the surface, and that one can (...)
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  20. Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution.Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief contains fourteen original essays by philosophers, theologians, and social scientists on challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution. Three main questions are addressed: Can one reasonably maintain one's moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society's moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting (...)
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  21. In Defence of Sceptical Theism: A Reply to Almeida and Oppy.Michael Bergmann & Michael C. Rea - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):241 – 251.
    Some evidential arguments from evil rely on an inference of the following sort: 'If, after thinking hard, we can't think of any God-justifying reason for permitting some horrific evil then it is likely that there is no such reason'. Sceptical theists, us included, say that this inference is not a good one and that evidential arguments from evil that depend on it are, as a result, unsound. Michael Almeida and Graham Oppy have argued (in a previous issue of this journal) (...)
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  22. Does Evolutionary Psychology Show That Normativity Is Mind-Dependent?Selim Berker - 2014 - In Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 215-252.
    Suppose we grant that evolutionary forces have had a profound effect on the contours of our normative judgments and intuitions. Can we conclude anything from this about the correct metaethical theory? I argue that, for the most part, we cannot. Focusing my attention on Sharon Street’s justly famous argument that the evolutionary origins of our normative judgments and intuitions cause insuperable epistemological difficulties for a metaethical view she calls "normative realism," I argue that there are two largely independent lines of (...)
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  23. Nietzsche and the Ancient Skeptical Tradition.Jessica N. Berry - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Introduction : reading Nietzsche skeptically -- Nietzsche and the Pyrrhonian tradition -- Skepticism in Nietzsche's early work : the case of "on truth and lie" -- The question of Nietzsche's "naturalism" -- Perspectivism and Ephexis in interpretation -- Skepticism and health -- Skepticism as immoralism.
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  24. Moral Intuitionism and Disagreement.Brian Besong - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2767-2789.
    According to moral intuitionism, at least some moral seeming states are justification-conferring. The primary defense of this view currently comes from advocates of the standard account, who take the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming to be determined by its phenomenological credentials alone. However, the standard account is vulnerable to a problem. In brief, the standard account implies that moral knowledge is seriously undermined by those commonplace moral disagreements in which both agents have equally good phenomenological credentials supporting their disputed (...)
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  25. The Prudent Conscience View.Brian Besong - 2014 - International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):127-141.
    Moral intuitionism, which claims that some moral seemings are justification-conferring, has become an increasingly popular account in moral epistemology. Defenses of the position have largely focused on the standard account, according to which the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming is determined by its phenomenal credentials alone. Unfortunately, the standard account is a less plausible version of moral intuitionism because it does not take etiology seriously. In this paper, I provide an outline and defense of a non-standard account of moral (...)
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  26. Scepticism and Ethics.Richard Bett - 2010 - In Richard Arnot Home Bett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 181.
  27. Is Modern Moral Scepticism Essentially Local?Richard Bett - 1988 - Analysis 48 (2):102 - 107.
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  28. Moral Scepticism: Why Ask "Why Should I Be Moral"?Richard Arnot Home Bett - 1986 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Many of us have a prereflective sense--or at least, a hope--that there are reasons to be moral which apply to an agent regardless of what his or her existing motivations may be. The view that there are no such reasons may, then, be regarded as a form of moral scepticism. The philosophical position which seems most fit to refute this form of moral scepticism, and hence to support our prereflective sense, is a Kantian view of morality, according to which we (...)
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  29. Yudhishthira's Doubt.R. S. Bhatnagar - 2004 - In Kusuma Jaina (ed.), Foundations of Indian Moral Thought. Dept. Of Philosophy, University of Rajasthan. pp. 11--1.
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  30. The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):326-354.
    In this paper, we do three things. First, we put forth a novel hypothesis about judgments of moral responsibility according to which such judgments are a species of explanatory judgments. Second, we argue that this hypothesis explains both some general features of everyday thinking about responsibility and the appeal of skeptical arguments against moral responsibility. Finally, we argue that, if correct, the hypothesis provides a defense against these skeptical arguments.
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  31. Moral Scepticism and Inductive Scepticism.Robert Black - 1989 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:65 - 82.
    Viewing moral scepticism as the rejection of objective desirabilities, inductive scepticism may be seen as the rejection of objective believabilities. Moral scepticism leads naturally to amoralism rather than subjectivism, and inductive scepticism undermines not our practices of induction but only a view about justification. The two scepticisms together amount to the adoption of a defensibly narrow, formal view of reason.
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  32. Toleration and the Skeptical Inquirer in Locke.Sam Black - 1998 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):473 - 504.
  33. Science and Moral Skepticism in Hobbes.Sam Black - 1997 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):173 - 207.
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  34. Justification, Scepticism, and Nihilism.Simon Blackburn - 1995 - Utilitas 7 (2):237.
    Sinnott-Armstrong's paper principally defends our inability to justify, philosophically, normal moral claims. In particular, we cannot justify them against other claims, especially the claim of moral nihilism. Moral nihilism is the doctrine that there are no moral obligations. This thesis ‘does not lie in meta-ethics. It is a universally quantified substantive moral claim’. Sinnott-Annstrong makes it clear that he does not actually believe this doctrine, but he believes that it is coherent, and that a variety of strategies philosophers might attempt (...)
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  35. The Moral Skeptic, by Anita M. Superson.P. Bloomfield - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):914-917.
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  36. Only All Naturalists Should Worry About Only One Evolutionary Debunking Argument.Tomas Bogardus - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):636-661.
    Do the facts of evolution generate an epistemic challenge to moral realism? Some think so, and many “evolutionary debunking arguments” have been discussed in the recent literature. But they are all murky right where it counts most: exactly which epistemic principle is meant to take us from evolutionary considerations to the skeptical conclusion? Here, I will identify several distinct species of evolutionary debunking argument in the literature, each one of which relies on a distinct epistemic principle. Drawing on recent work (...)
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  37. The Value of Hope.Luc Bovens - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):667-681.
    Hope obeys Aristotle's doctrine of the mean: one should neither hope too much, nor too little. But what determines what constitutes too much and what constitutes too little for a particular person at a particular time? The sceptic presents an argument to the effect that it is never rational to hope. An attempt to answer the sceptic leads us in different directions. Decision-theoretic and preference-theoretic arguments support the instrumental value of hope. An investigation into the nature of hope permits us (...)
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  38. Sceptical Ethics E. Spinelli: Sesto Empirico: Contro gli Etici. (Elenchos: collana di testi e studi sul pensiero antico, 24.) Pp. 450. Naples: Bibliopolis, 1995. Paper, L. 60,000. ISBN 88-7088-350-7. [REVIEW]George Boys-Stones - 1997 - The Classical Review 47 (02):292-294.
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  39. Moral Realism and the Sceptical Arguments From Disagreement and Queerness.David O. Brink - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):111 – 125.
  40. Moral Responsibility. The Ways of Scepticism – by Carlos Moya.Fernando Broncano - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):553-557.
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  41. Moral Practices and the Moral Sceptic.James M. Brown - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 27:116-128.
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  42. Korsgaard on Motivational Skepticism.John Brunero - 2004 - Journal of Value Inquiry 38 (2):253–264.
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  43. Accidie, Anomie, Polity: Moral Personality and Moral Discourse in a Skeptical Age.Jay Dalton Budziszewski - 1981 - Dissertation, Yale University
    This dissertation is concerned with themes the author argues must be of interest in a skeptical and disintegrative age: whether we are personally responsible for our actions, and whether morality has any ultimate vindication. The argument is presented in the form of a dialogue between two radically opposed kinds of skeptics, one of whom is so overcome with the passion to find the "first causes of all things" that he believes nothing he sees with his own eyes, while the other, (...)
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  44. Against Ethics.John P. Burgess - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):427-439.
    This is the verbatim manuscript of a paper which has circulated underground for close to thirty years, reaching a metethical conclusion close to J. L. Mackie’s by a somewhat different route.
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  45. [Book Review] Skepticism in Ethics. [REVIEW]Panayot Butchvarov - 1989 - Ethics 100 (4):934-938.
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  46. Is Morality Undercut by Evolutionary Naturalism.Peter Byrne - 2009 - Philo 12 (2):116-134.
    This paper surveys the argument that a secular world-view that is committed to a neo-Darwinian account of human origins generates a vicious form of moral skepticism. The argument turns around the claim that Darwinism entails the unreliability of moral sense or conscience. This argument is analyzed and found wanting. It rests on a major error about the scope of evolutionary biology in explaining human thought.
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  47. The Value of Teaching Moral Skepticism.Daniel Callcut - 2006 - Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):223-235.
    This article argues that introductory ethics classes can unwittingly create or confirm skeptical views toward morality. Introductory courses frequently include critical discussion of skeptical positions such as moral relativism and psychological egoism as a way to head off this unintended outcome. But this method of forestalling skepticism can have a residual (and unintended) skeptical effect. The problem calls for deeper pedagogical-cum-philosophical engagement with the underlying sources of skepticism. The paper provides examples of how to do this and explains the additional (...)
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  48. P. F. Strawson’s Free Will Naturalism.Joe Campbell - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (1):26-52.
    _ Source: _Page Count 27 This is an explication and defense of P. F. Strawson’s naturalist theory of free will and moral responsibility. I respond to a set of criticisms of the view by free will skeptics, compatibilists, and libertarians who adopt the _core assumption_: Strawson thinks that our reactive attitudes provide the basis for a rational justification of our blaming and praising practices. My primary aim is to explain and defend Strawson’s naturalism in light of criticisms based on the (...)
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  49. Locke as Moral Sceptic: Innateness, Diversity, and the Reply to Stoicism.Daniel Carey - 1997 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 79 (3):292-309.
  50. Skepticism and Moral Theory in Contemporary Philosophy.Curtis Carter - unknown
    Skepticism is the one problem above all others which has commanded the attention of moral philosophers in our century. Sometimes the problem is taken up explicitly, in full but uneasy consciousness; at others times it is treated indirectly, as in the troubled reflections from which emerge such questions as "Can moral principles be proved?" or "Is there a single 'right' point of view for confronting moral questions?" or "Why should I be moral at all?" In either case, skepticism as a (...)
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