About this topic
Summary This category includes works examining the relationship between values, in the sense of claims about value, and norms, in the sense of ethical principles concerning what is right, wrong, or there is reason to do. In a famous expression owed to David Ross's homonymous book, the category covers the relation between 'the right and the good'. Consequentialism provides a clear view of such relation: the good determines the right. In other words, what is right and wrong to do is determined on the basis of a ranking of actions on an evaluative scale. Certain forms of virtue ethics provide a different example of how the good determines the right. Here the relevant good is the goodness of the motive that an action would manifest, or the goodness of the agent. The question then is: What would a good (virtuous) agent do? On the other hand, deontological theories are often defined as rejecting this unilateral direction of explanation. One way to be a deontologist is to deny that all the right is determined by the good: W. D. Ross held such a view. E.g. the duty to keep promises is independent from the good that promise-keeping brings about. Another deontological approach claims that, in fact, the right determines the good. A good example here is Kant's claims about happiness: happiness is good, only on condition that is deserved, i.e. as a reward for acting rightly. A connected but in principle distinct debate that falls into this category is whether evaluative concepts should be defined in normative terms, or viceversa. This debate is distinct for two reasons: 1) it is a 'definitional' debate rather than one in normative ethics; 2) the relevant normative terms need not be moral ones, but simply the concept of a reason for acting and having attitudes. See the category on the buck-passing account of value. Yet another area of questions that can fall in this category is how values can justify norms: e.g. Does the value of knowledge (or some other value) justify epistemic norms? Does the value of coherence justify rational requirements?
Key works Chapters 5 and 6 of Moore 1903 contain classic statements of a consequentialist approach, where the good (understood as intrinsic value) not only grounds but even defines the right. Ross 1930 as pointed out provides a clear example of a deontological view on the value-norms relation. The papers contained in Prichard 2002 provide much of the background for Ross's view, although arguing for a mixed view whereby the good is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the right. Within contemporary literature, Audi 2004 also proposes a non-consequentialist view, but takes fundamental moral norms to be ultimately grounded on the value of human flourishing. Baron et al 1997 puts consequentialism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics in dialogue, with an emphasis on how they answer the 'right and the good' question--interestingly Marcia Baron claims the centrality of value to Kant's ethics.
Introductions Zimmermann 2007 Wedgwood 2009
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  1. Empathy and Moral Motivation.E. Denham Alison - 2017 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), The Philosophy of Empathy. Routledge.
  2. The Logic of Norms.Alan Ross Anderson - 1958 - Logique Et Analyse 1 (2):84.
  3. Social Norms, The Invisible Hand, and the Law.Jonny Anomaly & Geoffrey Brennan - 2014 - University of Queensland Law Journal 33 (2).
  4. Groundwork for a New Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Klesis 27:155-190.
    This paper argues that virtue ethics and prevailing epistemic norms in moral and political philosophy more generally both support a new kind of empirically-informed moral-virtue epistemology, or “experimental ethics” – an epistemology according to which disputed normative premises in moral and political philosophy should be epistemically evaluated on the basis of empirically-observed relationships they bear to morally admirable and morally repugnant psycho-behavioral traits, as defined by cross-cultural, cross-historical, and cross-debate agreement on the moral valence of particular traits and behaviors.
  5. Norm-Expressivism and Regress.Tanyi Attila - forthcoming - South African Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper aims to investigate Allan Gibbard’s norm-expressivist account of normativity. In particular, the aim is to see whether Gibbard’s theory is able to account for the normativity of reason-claims. For this purpose, I first describe how I come to targeting Gibbard’s theory by setting out the main tenets of quasi-realism cum expressivism. After this, I provide a detailed interpretation of the relevant parts of Gibbard’s theory. I argue that the best reading of his account is the one that takes (...)
  6. The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value.Robert Audi - 2004 - Princeton Up.
    "Robert Audi's magisterial "The Good in the Right" offers the most comprehensive and developed account of rational ethical intuitionism to date."--Roger Crisp, St. Anne's College, University of Oxford "This is an excellent book.
  7. Just the Right Thickness: A Defense of Second-Wave Virtue Epistemology.Guy Axtell & J. Adam Carter - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):413-434.
    Abstract Do the central aims of epistemology, like those of moral philosophy, require that we designate some important place for those concepts located between the thin-normative and the non-normative? Put another way, does epistemology need ?thick? evaluative concepts? There are inveterate traditions in analytic epistemology which, having legitimized a certain way of viewing the nature and scope of epistemology's subject matter, give this question a negative verdict; further, they have carried with them a tacit commitment to what we argue to (...)
  8. Constructivism and the Moral Problem.Carla Bagnoli - forthcoming - Philosophia.
    According to the standard objection, Kantian constructivism implicitly commits to value realism or fails to warrant objective validity of normative propositions. This paper argues that this objection gains some force from the special case of moral obligations. The case largely rests on the assumption that the moral domain is an eminent domain of special objects. But for constructivism there is no moral domain of objects prior to and independently of reasoning. The argument attempts to make some progress in the debate (...)
  9. Change in View: Sensitivity to Facts in Prospective Rationality.Carla Bagnoli - 2016 - In G. Marchetti & S. Marchetti (eds.), The Contingency of Fact and the Objectivity of Values. Routledge. pp. 137-158.
    In this chapter, I offer a constructivist account of practical reasoning as both generative and transformative in response to calls from philosophers as diverse as Iris Murdoch and Gilbert Harman, who have urged the development of a more nuanced picture of reasoning that incorporates revisionary and revelatory changes in viewpoint. Within this context, I describe sensitivity to facts as a form of emotional engagement that is also partially constitutive of facts. I consider both the epistemological and ontological aspects of this (...)
  10. Breaking Ties: The Significance of Choice in Symmetrical Moral Dilemmas.Carla Bagnoli - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):157–170.
    In symmetrical moral dilemmas, the agent faces a choice between two incompatible actions, which are equally justified on the basis of the same value. These cases are generally discounted as spurious or irrelevant on the assumption that, when there is no failure of commensurability, choice between symmetrical requirements is indifferent and can be determined by randomization. Alternatively, this article argues that the appeal to randomization allows the agent to overcome a deliberative impasse, but it does not really resolve the moral (...)
  11. Moral Constructivism: A Phenomenological Argument.Carla Bagnoli - 2002 - Topoi 21 (1-2):125-138.
  12. 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 (...)
  13. A Model of Legal Reasoning with Cases Incorporating Theories and Values.Trevor J. M. Bench-Capon & Giovanni Sartor - 2003 - Artificial Intelligence 150 (1-2):97-143.
    Reasoning with cases has been a primary focus of those working in AI and law who have attempted to model legal reasoning. In this paper we put forward a formal model of reasoning with cases which captures many of the insights from that previous work. We begin by stating our view of reasoning with cases as a process of constructing, evaluating and applying a theory. Central to our model is a view of the relationship between cases, rules based on cases, (...)
  14. Factualism, Normativism and the Bounds of Normativity.Thomas M. Besch - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (02):347-365.
    The paper argues that applications of the principle that “ought” implies “can” (OIC) depend on normative considerations even if the link between “ought” and “can” is logical in nature. Thus, we should reject a common, “factualist” conception of OIC and endorse weak “normativism”. Even if we use OIC as the rule ““cannot” therefore “not ought””, applying OIC is not a mere matter of facts and logic, as factualists claim, but often draws on “proto-ideals” of moral agency.
  15. How Not to Be Muddled by a Meddlesome Muggletonian.John Bigelow & Michael Smith - 1997 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (4):511 – 527.
    Holton, we acknowledge, has given a good counter-example to a theory, and that theory is interesting and worth refuting. The theory we have in mind is like Smith's, but is more reductionist in spirit. It is a theory that ties value to Reason and to processes of reasoning, or inference - not to the recognition of reasons and acting on reasons. Such a theory overestimates the importance of logic, truth, inference, and thinking things through for yourself independently of any ideas (...)
  16. New Waves in Metaethics.Michael Brady (ed.) - 2011 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Metaethics occupies a central place in analytical philosophy, and the last forty years has seen an upsurge of interest in questions about the nature and practice of morality. This collection presents original and ground-breaking research on metaethical issues from some of the very best of a new generation of philosophers working in this field.
  17. Norms and Values: Essays on the Work of Virginia Held (Review).Elizabeth Brake - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (1):200-203.
  18. Review of David Sobel's From Valuing to Value. [REVIEW]Ben Bramble - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201705:2017.05.13.
  19. Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience.Kimberley Brownlee - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Oxford Legal Philosophy publishes the best new work in philosophically-oriented legal theory. It commissions and solicits monographs in all branches of the subject, including works on philosophical issues in all areas of public and private law, and in the national, transnational, and international realms; studies of the nature of law, legal institutions, and legal reasoning; treatments of problems in political morality as they bear on law; and explorations in the nature and development of legal philosophy itself. The series represents diverse (...)
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  20. The Depersonalization of Violence: Reflections on the Future of Personal Responsibility.Edmund F. Byrne - 1973 - Journal of Value Inquiry 7 (3):161-172.
    The intent of this article is to discredit the much used concept (often unstated) of virtuous violence. To begin with, it is a paradox hence in need of not easily achieved justification. Here author's critique focuses on the political myth of prophetic righteousness, the ethical myth of a common good, and the myth of the infinite, which is utilized all too often to bypass finite systems. (Article sharply criticized when first presented to a faculty group.).
  21. Submission and Subjection in Leviathan: Good Subjects in the Hobbesian Commonwealth.Michael Byron - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes famously characterizes the state of nature as a predicament in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The only means of escape from that dire condition is to found the commonwealth, with its notorious sovereign. Hobbes invests the sovereign with virtually absolute power over the poor subjects of the commonwealth, and that vast and unlimited sovereign has drawn the reader’s eye for 350 years. -/- Yet Hobbes has a great deal to say about subjects (...)
  22. Inwardness and Sociability: A Reply to Carter.Michael Campbell - 2014 - Philosophical Investigations 37 (1):57-77.
    Carter argues that Wittgensteinian moral philosophy – typified by the work of Raimond Gaita and Christopher Cordner – rests on shaky foundations because it vacillates between grounding moral judgements in grammar and in a form of life. In this article, I respond to Carter's criticism. I defend Wittgensteinian moral philosophy by showing that Gaita and Cordner specifically repudiate the purported dichotomy between grammar and a form of life. I then go on to explain why Wittgensteinian moral philosophers are right not (...)
  23. Axiomatizing Umwelt Normativity.Marc Champagne - 2011 - Sign Systems Studies 39 (11):9-59.
    Prompted by the thesis that an organism’s umwelt possesses not just a descriptive dimension, but a normative one as well, some have sought to annex semiotics with ethics. Yet the pronouncements made in this vein have consisted mainly in rehearsing accepted moral intuitions, and have failed to concretely further our knowledge of why or how a creature comes to order objects in its environment in accordance with axiological charges of value or disvalue. For want of a more explicit account, theorists (...)
  24. Practical Reasons: The Problem of Gridlock.Ruth Chang - 2014 - In Barry Dainton & Howard Robinson (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Philosophy. Continuum Publishing Corporation. pp. 474-499.
    The paper has two aims. The first is to propose a general framework for organizing some central questions about normative practical reasons in a way that separates importantly distinct issues that are often run together. Setting out this framework provides a snapshot of the leading types of view about practical reasons as well as a deeper understanding of what are widely regarded to be some of their most serious difficulties. The second is to use the proposed framework to uncover and (...)
  25. Grounding Practical Normativity: Going Hybrid.Ruth Chang - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):163-187.
    In virtue of what is something a reason for action? That is, what makes a consideration a reason to act? This is a metaphysical or meta-normative question about the grounding of reasons for action. The answer to the grounding question has been traditionally given in ‘pure’, univocal terms. This paper argues that there is good reason to understand the ground of practical normativity as a hybrid of traditional ‘pure’ views. The paper 1) surveys the three leading ‘pure’ answers to the (...)
  26. Commitment, Reasons, and the Will.Ruth Chang - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 74-113.
    This paper argues that there is a particular kind of ‘internal’ commitment typically made in the context of romantic love relationships that has striking meta-normative implications for how we understand the role of the will in practical normativity. Internal commitments cannot plausibly explain the reasons we have in committed relationships on the usual model – as triggering reasons that are already there, in the way that making a promise triggers a reason via a pre-existing norm of the form ‘If you (...)
  27. Are Hard Choices Cases of Incomparability?Ruth Chang - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):106-126.
    This paper presents an argument against the widespread view that ‘hard choices’ are hard because of the incomparability of the alternatives. The argument has two parts. First, I argue that any plausible theory of practical reason must be ‘comparativist’ in form, that is, it must hold that a comparative relation between the alternatives with respect to what matters in the choice determines a justified choice in that situation. If comparativist views of practical reason are correct, however, the incomparabilist view of (...)
  28. The Possibility of Parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.
    This paper argues for the existence of a fourth positive generic value relation that can hold between two items beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’: namely ‘on a par’.
  29. On Universalism: Communitarians, Rorty, and “Liberal Metaphysicians”.Andrew Jason Cohen - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):39-75.
  30. A Mysterious Case of Missing Value.Earl Conee - 2016 - Philosophic Exchange 45 (1):1-22.
    Sometimes there are conflicts about what we ought to do according to differing evaluative dimensions, like morality and self-interest. After sketching an interpretation of "ought" claims of all sorts, it is argued that there is no overriding evaluation that authoritatively resolves the conflicts. It is further argued that this is not altogether disappointing.
  31. 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 (...)
  32. Value, Reasons and the Structure of Justification: How to Avoid Passing the Buck.Roger Crisp - 2005 - Analysis 65 (285):80–85.
  33. Not Knowing Everything That Matters.Jonathan Dancy & Daniel Muñoz - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine (66):94-99.
    We know what to say about the agent who knowingly does the wrong thing. But what of the wrongdoer who doesn't know everything that matters? Some of the usual criticisms may apply, if some of the usual mistakes were made. Other usual criticisms will miss the mark. One task for moral theory is to explain this variety of censures and failures. Derek Parfit proposes that we define for each criticism a sense of 'wrong', and that each new sense be defined (...)
  34. What Should Realists Say About Honor Cultures?Dan Demetriou - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):893-911.
    Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen’s (1996) influential account of “cultures of honor” speculates that honor norms are a socially-adaptive deterrence strategy. This theory has been appealed to by multiple empirically-minded philosophers, and plays an important role in John Doris and Alexandra Plakias’ (2008) antirealist argument from disagreement. In this essay, I raise four objections to the Nisbett-Cohen deterrence thesis, and offer another theory of honor in its place that sees honor as an agonistic normative system regulating prestige competitions. Since my (...)
  35. There’s Some Fetish in Your Ethics: A Limited Defense of Purity Reasoning in Moral Discourse.Dan Demetriou - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:377-404.
    Call the ethos understanding rightness in terms of spiritual purity and piety, and wrongness in terms of corruption and sacrilege, the “fetish ethic.” Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues suggest that this ethos is particularly salient to political conservatives and non-liberal cultures around the globe. In this essay, I point to numerous examples of moral fetishism in mainstream academic ethics. Once we see how deeply “infected” our ethical reasoning is by fetishistic intuitions, we can respond by 1) repudiating the fetishistic impulse, (...)
  36. Oraciones normativas y sensibilidad a la evaluacion.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2017 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 43 (1):29-47.
    Nuestro lenguaje no solo describe el mundo que nos rodea: muchas expresiones que usamos habitualmente (desde predicados de gusto a expresiones como “interesante” o “divertido”) tienen por función valorar los objetos que constituyen nuestro entorno. Las oraciones que las contienen son sensibles a la evaluación: su valor de verdad depende del estándar evaluativo saliente en contexto y su emisión puede dar lugar a desacuerdos duros. El presente trabajo examina la ex- tensión de esta categoría a oraciones con predicados y verbos (...)
  37. Achieving Moral Progress Despite Moral Regress.Ben Dixon - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:157-172.
    Moral progress and some of the conditions under which groups can make it is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I address a problem arising from the use of pluralistic criteria for determining moral progress. Pluralistic criteria can allow for judgments that moral progress has taken place where there is causally related moral regression. Indeed, an otherwise well-argued pluralistic theory put forward by Michelle Moody-Adams allows for such conflicting judgments. I argue, however, that the way in which Moody-Adams handles (...)
  38. Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normative Language, by Stephen Finlay.J. L. Dowell - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):585-593.
  39. Pain and Evil.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper I defend the thesis that, considered simply as certain sorts of bodily sensations, pleasure is not the good nor is pain intrinsically evil. In fact, the opposite is largely the case: pursuit of pleasure is generally productive of ontic evil, and pain, when heeded, directs us toward the ontic good.
  40. Revelation, Wisdom, and Learning From Religion.Robert Ellis - 1997 - British Journal of Religious Education 19 (2):95-103.
    D.G Attfield's article "Learning from Religion" in BJRE 18:2 raises a number of difficulties in the treatment of truth claims in Religious Education. He argues that these claims should limit the acceptable goals of non-confessional R.E. to teaching about religion and not cross a threshold of faith-commitment beyond which a child may learn from religion. His arguments rest on a questionable understanding of religions as entirely defined by their irreconcilable revelations, which actually condemns R.E to an ineffectual relativism. Attfield also (...)
  41. Peter Singer et la libération animale.Dardenne Emilie, Giroux Valéry & Utria Enrique (eds.) - forthcoming - Rennes, France: Presses universitaires de REnnes.
    Dans son ouvrage La libération animale, Peter Singer développe trois grandes idées : le principe d'égale considération des intérêts, le rejet du spécisme, et la nécessité de mettre un terme à certains types d'exploitation des animaux, notamment ceux qui ont trait à la recherche et l'élevage industriel. Cette oeuvre phare a connu un retentissement immense, à tel point que sa publication, en 1975, a été présentée comme le moment clef dans l'émergence du mouvement éponyme. Cependant, le mouvement de libération animale (...)
  42. Fallacia Deontica. From "Ought" to "Is".Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2012 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia Del Diritto 89 (3):413–418.
  43. Podstawowe pytanie etyczne w horyzoncie prawdy, wolności i odpowiedzialności.Jacek Filek - 2013 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 3 (1):161-176.
  44. Hoppe’s Derivation of Self-Ownership From Argumentation: Analysis and Critique.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Reason Papers 35 (1):92-106.
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe contends that the fact that a person has the capacity to argue entails that she has the moral right of exclusive control over her own body. Critics of Hoppe’s argument do not appear to have pinpointed its flaws. I expose the logical structure of Hoppe’s argument, distinguishing its pragmatic-contradiction and its mutual-recognition components. I provide three counterexamples to show that Hoppe’s mutual-recognition argument is invalid and I argue that the truth that appears to motivate the argument is simply (...)
  45. Adorno's Ethics Without the Ineffable.F. Freyenhagen - 2011 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2011 (155):127-149.
    There is a perennial problem affecting Theodor W. Adorno’s philosophy: his theory seems to lack the resources to account for his normative claims. James Gordon Finlayson has offered an intriguing solution. He argues that within Adorno’s philosophy it is possible to access a kind of good that is suitable as a normative basis for his ethics: the good involved in the experiences of trying to have insights into the ineffable. In this paper, I show that this proposal is unsuitable both (...)
  46. Adorno's Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly.Fabian Freyenhagen - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    Adorno notoriously asserted that there is no 'right' life in our current social world. This assertion has contributed to the widespread perception that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and he is often accused of being too negative. Fabian Freyenhagen reconstructs and defends Adorno's practical philosophy in response to these charges. He argues that Adorno's deep pessimism about the contemporary social world is coupled with a strong optimism about human potential, and that this optimism explains his negative (...)
  47. Supererogatory Forgiveness.Espen Gamlund - 2010 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):540-564.
    While forgiveness is widely recognised as an example of a supererogatory action, it remains to be explained precisely what makes forgiveness supererogatory, or the circumstances under which it is supererogatory to forgive. Philosophers often claim that forgiveness is supererogatory, but most of the time they do so without offering an adequate explanation for why it is supererogatory to forgive. Accordingly, the literature on forgiveness lacks a sufficiently nuanced account of the supererogatory status of forgiveness. In this paper, I seek to (...)
  48. Review of Christian Miller (Ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. [REVIEW]Jon Garthoff - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
  49. Meriting Concern and Meriting Respect.Jon Garthoff - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (2).
    Recently there has been a somewhat surprising interest among Kantian theorists in the moral standing of animals, coupled with a no less surprising optimism among these theorists about the prospect of incorporating animal moral standing into Kantian theory without contorting its other attractive features. These theorists contend in particular that animal standing can be incorporated into Kantian moral theory without abandoning its logocentrism: the claim that everything that is valuable depends for its value on its relation to rationality. In this (...)
  50. The Right and the Wrong Kind of Reasons.Jan Gertken & Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (5).
    In a number of recent philosophical debates, it has become common to distinguish between two kinds of normative reasons, often called the right kind of reasons (henceforth: RKR) and the wrong kind of reasons (henceforth: WKR). The distinction was first introduced in discussions of the so-called buck-passing account of value, which aims to analyze value properties in terms of reasons for pro-attitudes and has been argued to face the wrong kind of reasons problem. But nowadays it also gets applied in (...)
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