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Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics

Oxford University Press (1999)

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  1. Desire Satisfactionism and the Problem of Irrelevant Desires.Mark Lukas - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-25.
    Desire-satisfaction theories about welfare come in two main varieties: unrestricted and restricted. Both varieties hold that a person's welfare is determined entirely by the satisfactions and frustrations of his desires. But while the restricted theories count only some of a person’s desires as relevant to his well-being, the unrestricted theories count all of his desires as relevant. Because unrestricted theories count all desires as relevant they are vulnerable to a wide variety of counterexamples involving desires that seem obviously irrelevant. Derek (...)
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  • Rationalism About Obligation.David Owens - unknown
    In our thinking about what to do, we consider reasons which count for or against various courses of action. That having a glass of wine with dinner would be pleasant and make me sociable recommends the wine. That it will disturb my sleep and inhibit this evening’s work counts against it. I determine what I ought to do by weighing these considerations and deciding what would be best all things considered. A practical reason makes sense of a course of action (...)
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  • Can God’s Goodness Save the Divine Command Theory From Euthyphro?Jeremy Koons - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):177-195.
    Recent defenders of the divine command theory like Adams and Alston have confronted the Euthyphro dilemma by arguing that although God’s commands make right actions right, God is morally perfect and hence would never issue unjust or immoral commandments. On their view, God’s nature is the standard of moral goodness, and God’s commands are the source of all obligation. I argue that this view of divine goodness fails because it strips God’s nature of any features that would make His goodness (...)
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  • Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
    This chapter surveys hybrid theories of well-being. It also discusses some criticisms, and suggests some new directions that philosophical discussion of hybrid theories might take.
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  • Against Absolute Goodness.Richard Kraut - 2011 - Oup Usa.
    Are there things we should value because they are, quite simply, good? Richard Kraut argues that there are not. Goodness, he holds, is not a reason-giving property - in fact, there may be no such thing. It is an illusory and insidious category of practical thought.
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  • Dobroć (Boga - Goodness of God).Marek Pepliński - 2016 - In Janusz Salamon (ed.), Przewodnik po filozofii religii. Nurt analityczny, Kraków 2016. Wydawnictwo WAM. pp. 121-40.
    The paper presents some historical (Plato, Aristotle, Plotin, Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas) and main contemporary topics about different accounts of goodness of God understood as ontological goodness, perfection and as ethical goodness - impeccability and benevolence. The arguments for goodness of God are presented, mainly from stance of Thomas Aquinas classical theism as well as arguments against compatibility of essential goodness and omnipotence (N. Pike) and being an moral agent. The article draws perspective of different philosophical issues connected with goodness of (...)
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  • Created Goodness and the Goodness of God: Divine Ideas and the Possibility of Creaturely Value.Dan Kemp - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    Traditional theism says that the goodness of everything comes from God. Moreover, the goodness of something intrinsically valuable can only come from what has it. Many conclude from these two claims that no creatures have intrinsic value if traditional theism is true. I argue that the exemplarist theory of the divine ideas gives the theist a way out. According to exemplarism, God creates everything according to ideas that are about himself, and so everything resembles God. Since God is wholly good (...)
     
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  • The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
    Many philosophers have claimed that we might do well to adopt a hybrid theory of well-being: a theory that incorporates both an objective-value constraint and a pro-attitude constraint. Hybrid theories are attractive for two main reasons. First, unlike desire theories of well-being, hybrid theories need not worry about the problem of defective desires. This is so because, unlike desire theories, hybrid theories place an objective-value constraint on well-being. Second, unlike objectivist theories of well-being, hybrid theories need not worry about being (...)
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  • Could Morality Have a Source?Chris Heathwood - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-19.
    It is a common idea that morality, or moral truths, if there are any, must have some sort of source, or grounding. It has also been claimed that constructivist theories in metaethics have an advantage over realist theories in that the former but not the latter can provide such a grounding. This paper has two goals. First, it attempts to show that constructivism does not in fact provide a complete grounding for morality, and so is on a par with realism (...)
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  • Well -Being and Actual Desires.Mark E. Lukas - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    What makes a life good for the person who lives it? According to one answer, enjoyment. Hedonists tell us that one's life goes well to the extent that he enjoys himself and avoids pain. Another answer is that we do well in life to the extent to which we get what we desire. Some versions of this last answer count only "rational" of "informed" desires as relevant to well-being. I defend the view that a person's quality of life is determined (...)
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  • The Limits of Virtue Ethics.Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 10:255-282.
    Virtue ethics is often understood as a rival to existing consequentialist, deontological, and contractualist views. But some have disputed the position that virtue ethics is a genuine normative ethical rival. This chapter aims to crystallize the nature of this dispute by providing criteria that determine the degree to which a normative ethical theory is complete, and then investigating virtue ethics through the lens of these criteria. In doing so, it’s argued that no existing account of virtue ethics is a complete (...)
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  • Ethical Non-Naturalism and the Metaphysics of Supervenience.Tristram McPherson - 2012 - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol 7. pp. 205.
    It is widely accepted that the ethical supervenes on the natural, where this is roughly the claim that it is impossible for two circumstances to be identical in all natural respects, but different in their ethical respects. This chapter refines and defends the traditional thought that this fact poses a significant challenge to ethical non-naturalism, a view on which ethical properties are fundamentally different in kind from natural properties. The challenge can be encapsulated in three core claims which the chapter (...)
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  • Desire-Fulfillment Theory.Chris Heathwood - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 135-147.
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  • Well-Being in the Christian Tradition.William Lauinger - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being.
    This paper discusses well-being in the Christian tradition.
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  • The Role of Pleasure in Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    What is the role of pleasure in determining a person’s well-being? I start by considering the nature of pleasure (i.e., what pleasure is). I then consider what factors, if any, can affect how much a given pleasure adds to a person’s lifetime well-being other than its degree of pleasurableness (i.e., how pleasurable it is). Finally, I consider whether it is plausible that there is any other way to add to somebody’s lifetime well-being than by giving him some pleasure or helping (...)
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  • The Natural Law Tradition in Ethics.Mark Murphy - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse & Glen Pettigrove - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Virtue ethics is currently one of three major approaches in normative ethics. We begin by discussing two concepts that are central to all forms of virtue ethics, namely, virtue and practical wisdom. Then we note some of the features that distinguish different virtue ethical theories from one another before turning to objections that have been raised against virtue ethics and responses offered on its behalf. We conclude with a look at some of the directions in which future research might develop.
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  • An Opinionated Guide to “What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best”.Chris Heathwood - 2020 - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 94-113.
    Derek Parfit's monumental 1984 book Reasons and Persons contains a little appendix called "What Makes Someone's Life Go Best," a mini-essay on well-being that has taken on a life of its own apart from the body to which it is attached. This paper serves as a critical guide to that appendix. Topics include: the nature of pleasure and pain and its relation to theories of well-being; the unrestricted desire-fulfillment theory and the problem of remote desires; whether a person's actual preferences (...)
     
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  • Our Farmer Abraham: The Binding of Isaac and Willing What God Wills.David Worsley - 2018 - Journal of Analytic Theology 6:204-216.
    In The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, Yoram Hazony suggests that it is part of Rabbinic tradition that in the Akedah, Abraham never intended to sacrifice Isaac. In a recent paper, Sam Lebens argued that in making this claim, Hazony is misrepresenting Rabbinic tradition. In this paper, I show that Hazony can concede to Lebens’s argument and still have something interesting to say about the Akedah, namely, that it provides an opportunity to reflect on what might happen when a ‘Shepherd’ is (...)
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  • Naturalism, Reduction and Normativity: Pressing From Below.John F. Post - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):1–27.
    David Papineau’s model of scientific reduction, contrary to his intent, appears to enable a naturalist realist account of the primitive normativity involved in a biological adaptation’s being “for” this or that (say the eye’s being for seeing). By disabling the crucial anti-naturalist arguments against any such reduction, his model would support a cognitivist semantics for normative claims like “The heart is for pumping blood, and defective if it doesn’t.” No moral claim would follow, certainly. Nonetheless, by thus “pressing from below” (...)
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  • The Locative Analysis of Good For Formulated and Defended.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (JESP) 6 (1):1-27.
    THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Goodness in the Ethics of Aristotle.Samuel H. Baker - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1839-1856.
    Kraut and other neo-Aristotelians have argued that there is no such thing as absolute goodness. They admit only good in a kind, e.g. a good sculptor, and good for something, e.g. good for fish. What is the view of Aristotle? Mostly limiting myself to the Nicomachean Ethics, I argue that Aristotle is committed to things being absolutely good and also to a metaphysics of absolute goodness where there is a maximally best good that is the cause of the goodness of (...)
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  • God and Interpersonal Knowledge.Matthew A. Benton - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):421-447.
    Recent epistemology offers an account of what it is to know other persons. Such views hold promise for illuminating several issues in philosophy of religion, and for advancing a distinctive approach to religious epistemology. This paper develops an account of interpersonal knowledge, and clarifies its relation to propositional and qualitative knowledge. I then turn to our knowledge of God and God's knowledge of us, and compare my account of interpersonal knowledge with important work by Eleonore Stump on "Franciscan" knowledge. I (...)
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  • Subject-Centred Reasons and Bestowal Love.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):62-77.
    Speaking roughly, there are two competing accounts of the basis of love. First, the appraisal view: love is based in reasons derived from the valuable properties of the beloved. Second, the bestowal view: love is not based in reasons derived from the valuable properties of the beloved, but love is based in the lover, who then bestows value onto the beloved. While both models deserve due attention, the bestowal model is of present concern. Despite numerous virtues, the bestowal model faces (...)
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  • In Defense of the No-Reasons View of Love.Aaron Smuts -
    Although we can try to explain why we love, we can never justify our love. Love is neither based on reasons, nor responsive to reasons, nor can it be assessed for normative reasons. Love can be odd, unfortunate, fortuitous, or even sadly lacking, but it can never be appropriate or inappropriate. We may have reasons to act on our love, but we cannot justify our loving feelings. Shakespeare's Bottom is right: "Reason and love keep little company together now-a-days." Indeed, they (...)
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  • Hedonism as the Explanation of Value.David Brax - 2009 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis defends a hedonistic theory of value consisting of two main components. Part 1 offers a theory of pleasure. Pleasures are experiences distinguished by a distinct phenomenological quality. This quality is attitudinal in nature: it is the feeling of liking. The pleasure experience is also an object of this attitude: when feeling pleasure, we like what we feel, and part of how it feels is how this liking feels: Pleasures are Internally Liked Experiences. Pleasure plays a central role in (...)
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  • Divine Satisficing and the Ethics of the Problem of Evil.Chris Tucker - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (1):32-56.
    This paper accomplishes three goals. First, it reveals that God’s ethics has a radical satisficing structure: God can choose a good enough suboptimal option even if there is a best option and no countervailing considerations. Second, it resolves the long-standing worry that there is no account of the good enough that is both principled and demanding enough to be good enough. Third, it vindicates the key ethical assumption in the problem of evil without relying on the contested assumption that God’s (...)
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  • Inferential and Non-Inferential Reasoning.Bart Streumer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):1-29.
    It is sometimes suggested that there are two kinds of reasoning: inferential reasoning and non-inferential reasoning. However, it is not entirely clear what the difference between these two kinds of reasoning is. In this paper, I try to answer the question what this difference is. I first discuss three answers to this question that I argue are unsatisfactory. I then give a different answer to this question, and I argue that this answer is satisfactory. I end by showing that this (...)
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  • The All-Happy God.Joseph Stenberg - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (4):423-441.
    Is God happy? In the tradition of classical theism, the answer has long been “Yes.” And, just as God is not merely powerful, but all-powerful, so too God is not merely happy, but all-happy or infinitely happy. Far from being empty praise, God’s happiness does important work, in particular, in explaining both human existence and human destiny. This essay is an attempt to give divine happiness the serious philosophical treatment it deserves. It turns out that, as with many divine traits, (...)
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  • The Prior Obligations Objection to Theological Stateism.Frederick Choo - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (3):372-384.
    Theological stateist theories, the most well-known of which is Divine Command Theory (DCT), ground our moral obligations directly in some state of God. The prior obligations objection poses a challenge to theological stateism. Is there a moral obligation to obey God’s commands? If no, it is hard to see how God’s commands can generate any moral obligations for us. If yes, then what grounds this prior obligation? To avoid circularity, the moral obligation must be grounded independent of God’s commands; and (...)
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  • Can Theists Avoid Epistemological Objections to Moral (and Normative) Realism?Justin Morton - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (3):291-312.
    Epistemological objections to moral realism allege that realism entails moral skepticism. Many philosophers have assumed that theistic moral realists can easily avoid such objections. In this article, I argue that things are not so easy: theists run the risk of violating an important constraint on replies to epistemological objections, according to which replies to such objections may not rely on substantive moral claims of a certain kind. Yet after presenting this challenge, I then argue that theists can meet it, successfully (...)
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  • Theism and Explanationist Defenses of Moral Realism.Andrew Brenner - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (4):447-463.
    Some moral realists have defended moral realism on the basis of the purported fact that moral facts figure as components in some good explanations of non-moral phenomena. In this paper I explore the relationship between theism and this sort of explanationist defense of moral realism. Theistic explanations often make reference to moral facts, and do so in a manner which is ineliminable in an important respect – remove the moral facts from those explanations, and they suffer as a result. In (...)
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  • A Functionalist Account of Human Uniqueness.Anthony Bolos - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (3):326-344.
    I challenge the assumption that human uniqueness, of the sort motivated by the doctrine of the imago Dei, is incompatible with contemporary views in evolutionary biology. I first develop the functionalist account of the image of God and then argue that image bearing is a contingently imposed function. Humans, chosen by God to bear his image, are unique in that they alone possess an ideal range of image bearing capacities. This ideal range, in the end, makes humans well-suited for the (...)
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  • Love (of God) as a Middle Way Between Dogmatism and Hyper-Rationalism in Ethics.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (3):279-298.
    In the Groundwork Kant dismisses theistic principles, along with all other competitors to his Categorical Imperative, claiming that they are heteronomous. By contrast, he asserts, the fundamental moral principle must be a principle of autonomy. I argue that the best case for this Kantian conclusion conflates our access to the reasons for our commitments with an ability to state these reasons such that they could figure in an argument. This conflation, in turn, results from a certain Kantian conception of inclination, (...)
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  • The Moral Obligations of Reasonable Non-Believers: A Special Problem for Divine Command Metaethics.Wes Morriston - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (1):1 - 10.
    People who do not believe that there is a God constitute an obvious problem for divine command metaethics. They have moral obligations, and are often enough aware of having them. Yet it is not easy to think of such persons as “hearing” divine commands. This makes it hard to see how a divine command theory can offer a completely general account of the nature of moral obligation. The present paper takes a close look at this issue as it emerges in (...)
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  • In Defence of the Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Theory.John Danaher - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):381-400.
    Divine command theories come in several different forms but at their core all of these theories claim that certain moral statuses exist in virtue of the fact that God has commanded them to exist. Several authors argue that this core version of the DCT is vulnerable to an epistemological objection. According to this objection, DCT is deficient because certain groups of moral agents lack epistemic access to God’s commands. But there is confusion as to the precise nature and significance of (...)
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  • Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):664-688.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person’s level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, *Which desires*? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn’t much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  • Evolutionary Ethics.Michael Klenk - 2019 - Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics.
    This chapter first introduces naturalistic approaches to ethics more generally and distinguishes methodological ethical naturalism (the focus of this chapter), from metaphysical ethical naturalism. The second part then discusses evolutionary ethics as a specific variant of methodological ethical naturalism. After introducing the concepts of evolutionary theory that are relevant for evolutionary ethics, I will sketch the history of evolutionary ethics, which offers an interesting lesson about why it became a controversial topic, and then focus on four central questions about ethics (...)
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  • Three Varieties of Faith.Ryan Preston-Roedder - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (1):173-199.
    Secular moral philosophy has devoted little attention to the nature and significance of faith. Perhaps this is unsurprising. The significance of faith is typically thought to depend on the truth of theism, and so it may seem that a careful study of faith has little to offer non-religious philosophy. But I argue that, whether or not theism holds, certain kinds of faith are centrally important virtues, that is, character traits that are morally admirable or admirable from some broader perspective of (...)
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  • Values, Agency, and Welfare.Jason R. Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Topics 41 (1):187-214.
    The values-based approach to welfare holds that it is good for one to realize goals, activities, and relationships with which one strongly (and stably) identifies. This approach preserves the subjectivity of welfare while affirming that a life well lived must be active, engaged, and subjectively meaningful. As opposed to more objective theories, it is unified, naturalistic, and ontologically parsimonious. However, it faces objections concerning the possibility of self-sacrifice, disinterested and paradoxical values, and values that are out of sync with physical (...)
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  • Why Patients Have a Moral Obligation to Give Care to Clinicians.Stephen Buetow - 2014 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 20 (6):890-895.
    Progress is being made in transitioning from clinicians who are torn between caring for patients and populations, to clinicians who are partnering with patients to care for patients as people. However, the focus is still on what patients and others can do for patients, however defined. For clinicians whose interests must be similarly respected for their own sake and because they are integrally related to those of patients, what can and should patients do? Patients can be exempted from some normal (...)
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  • Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  • Universality and Autonomy in Kant’s Moral Philosophy.O. V. Artemyeva - 2018 - Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences 11:86-102.
    The paper is devoted to the analysis of Kant’s approach to the ideas of universality and autonomy as the constitutive features of morality. The paper shows that Kant’s findings concerning these ideas were anticipated by the previous history of moral philosophy, mainly by the modern moral philosophers, who focused specifically on the elaboration of the philosophical concept of morality. Kant’s peculiar role was that, firstly, he conceptualized the ideas of universality and autonomy and formulated corresponding principles; secondly, Kant integrated both (...)
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  • Objectivity/Subjectivity of Values.Jason R. Raibley - 2014 - In Alex C. Michalos (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer. pp. 4438-4443.
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  • I—James Lenman: What is Moral Inquiry?James Lenman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):63-81.
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  • Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  • Recent Work on Motivational Internalism.Fredrik Björklund, Gunnar Björnsson, John Eriksson, Ragnar Francén Olinder & Caj Strandberg - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):124-137.
    Reviews work on moral judgment motivational internalism from the last two decades.
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  • Workplace Civility: A Confucian Approach.Tae Wan Kim & Alan Strudler - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (3):557-577.
    We argue that Confucianism makes a fundamental contribution to understanding why civility is necessary for a morally decent workplace. We begin by reviewing some limits that traditional moral theories face in analyzing issues of civility. We then seek to establish a Confucian alternative. We develop the Confucian idea that even in business, humans may be sacred when they observe rituals culturally determined to express particular ceremonial significance. We conclude that managers and workers should understand that there is a broad range (...)
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  • Science, Ethics and Observation.James Lenman - 2013 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 72:261-274.
    This paper examines the idea that ethics might be understood as a domain of straightforwardly empirical inquiry with reference to two of its defenders. Sam Harris has recently urged that ethics is simply the scientific study of welfare and how best to maximize it. That is of course to presuppose the truth of utilitarianism, something Harris considers too obvious to be sensibly contested. Richard Boyd's more nuanced and thoughtful position takes the truth of the ethical theory he favours to be (...)
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  • Moral Steadfastness and Meta-Ethics.James Fritz & Tristram McPherson - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):43-56.
    Call the following claim Asymmetry: rationality often requires a more steadfast response to pure moral disagreement than it does to otherwise analogous non-moral disagreement. This paper briefly motivates Asymmetry and explores its implications for meta-ethics. Some philosophers have thought that anti-realists are better-placed than realists to explain Asymmetry because, if anti-realism is true, disagreement cannot provide evidence against the reliability of one's thinking about objective moral facts. This paper argues that this simple diagnosis fails to support otherwise plausible anti-realisms. It (...)
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