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  1. Against Reductive Ethical Naturalism.Justin Klocksiem - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):1991-2010.
    This paper raises an objection to two important arguments for reductive ethical naturalism. Reductive ethical naturalism is the view that ethical properties reduce to the properties countenanced by the natural and social sciences. The main arguments for reductionism in the literature hold that ethical properties reduce to natural properties by supervening on them, either because supervenience is alleged to guarantee identity via mutual entailment, or because non-reductive supervenience relations render the supervenient properties superfluous. After carefully characterizing naturalism and reductionism, we (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Non-Moral Ignorance.Nicholas Smyth - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    The existence of deep and persistent moral disagreement poses a problem for a defender of moral knowledge. It seems particularly clear that a philosopher who thinks that we know a great many moral truths should explain how human populations have failed to converge on those truths. In this paper, I do two things. First, I show that the problem is more difficult than it is often taken to be, and second, I criticize a popular response, which involves claiming that many (...)
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  • Quine, Davidson, and the Naturalization of Metaethics.Robert Feleppa - 2001 - Dialectica 55 (2):145-166.
    Quine's ethical views typify what might seem to be natural sympathies between empiricism and ethical noncognitivism. LikeAyer, he sees a case for noncognitivism rooted in an epistemic discontinuity between ethics and science. Quine argues that the absence of genuine moral observation sentences, and thus the absence of empirical checkpoints for the resolution of theoretical disputes, renders ethics, as he terms it, “methodologically infirm” However, recent papers in this journal make clear that Quine appears to be voicing mutually incompatible commitments to (...)
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  • Quine, Davidson, and the Naturalization of Metaethics.Robert Feleppa - 2001 - Dialectica 55 (2):145–166.
    Quine's ethical views typify what might seem to be natural sympathies between empiricism and ethical noncognitivism. LikeAyer, he sees a case for noncognitivism rooted in an epistemic discontinuity between ethics and science. Quine argues that the absence of genuine moral observation sentences, and thus the absence of empirical checkpoints for the resolution of theoretical disputes, renders ethics, as he terms it, “methodologically infirm” However, recent papers in this journal make clear that Quine appears to be voicing mutually incompatible commitments to (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.
    The fact of moral disagreement when conjoined with Conciliationism, an independently attractive view about the epistemic significance disagreement, seems to entail moral skepticism. This worries those who like Conciliationism, the independently attractive view, but dislike moral skepticism. Others, equally inclined against moral skepticism, think this is a reductio of Conciliationism. I argue that they are both wrong. There is no reductio and nothing to worry about.
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  • Applied Ethics Series (Center for Applied Ethics and Philosophy).Jacob Blair - 2011
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  • Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics.N. G. Laskowski & Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 536-551.
    A critical survey of various positions on the nature, use, possession, and analysis of normative concepts. We frame our treatment around G.E. Moore’s Open Question Argument, and the ways metaethicists have responded by departing from a Classical Theory of concepts. In addition to the Classical Theory, we discuss synthetic naturalism, noncognitivism (expressivist and inferentialist), prototype theory, network theory, and empirical linguistic approaches. Although written for a general philosophical audience, we attempt to provide a new perspective and highlight some underappreciated problems (...)
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  • Moral Knowledge and the Genealogy of Error.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):455-474.
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  • The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
    It is often said that normative properties are “just too different” to reduce to other kinds of properties. This suggests that many philosophers find it difficult to believe reductive theses in ethics. I argue that the distinctiveness of the normative concepts we use in thinking about reductive theses offers a more promising explanation of this psychological phenomenon than the falsity of Reductive Realism. To identify the distinctiveness of normative concepts, I use resources from familiar Hybrid views of normative language and (...)
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  • From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World.Terence E. Horgan - 1993 - Mind 102 (408):555-86.
  • Vagueness and Indeterminacy in Metaethics.Tom Dougherty - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 185-193.
    This chapter discusses vagueness in ethics.
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  • Varieties of Moral Naturalism.David Copp - 2012 - Filosofia Unisinos 13 (2 - suppl.).
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  • Might All Normativity Be Queer?Matthew S. Bedke - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):41-58.
    Here I discuss the conceptual structure and core semantic commitments of reason-involving thought and discourse needed to underwrite the claim that ethical normativity is not uniquely queer. This deflates a primary source of ethical scepticism and it vindicates so-called partner in crime arguments. When it comes to queerness objections, all reason-implicating normative claims?including those concerning Humean reasons to pursue one's ends, and epistemic reasons to form true beliefs?stand or fall together.
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  • A Problem for Moral Naturalism: Outsourcing Moral Judgments.Rafael Vogelmann - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (3):1-27.
    ABSTRACT Moral Naturalism is the view that moral judgments aim at describing moral facts and that these are ordinary garden-variety natural facts. Moral Naturalism has trouble accounting for the intuition that we cannot outsource moral judgments, i.e., we cannot ground a moral conviction that p on the fact that a reliable moral adviser holds that p. There have been, however, several attempts to explain this intuition away or to discredit the intuition pumps that bring it forward. I argue that moral (...)
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  • Logic and the Autonomy of Ethics.Charles R. Pigden - 1989 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (2):127 – 151.
    My first paper on the Is/Ought issue. The young Arthur Prior endorsed the Autonomy of Ethics, in the form of Hume’s No-Ought-From-Is (NOFI) but the later Prior developed a seemingly devastating counter-argument. I defend Prior's earlier logical thesis (albeit in a modified form) against his later self. However it is important to distinguish between three versions of the Autonomy of Ethics: Ontological, Semantic and Ontological. Ontological Autonomy is the thesis that moral judgments, to be true, must answer to a realm (...)
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  • Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).
    J. L. Mackie famously argued that a commitment to non-existent objective values permeates ordinary moral thought and discourse. According to a standard interpretation, Mackie construed this commitment as a universal and indeed essential feature of moral judgments. In this paper I argue that we should rather ascribe to Mackie a form of semantic pluralism, according to which not all moral judgments involve the commitment to objective values. This interpretation not only makes better sense of what Mackie actually says, but also (...)
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  • Years of Moral Epistemology: A Bibliography.Laura Donohue & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):217-229.
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  • Finite Beings, Finite Goods: The Semantics, Metaphysics and Ethics of Naturalist Consequentialism, Part II.Richard Boyd - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):24–47.
    3.0. Well-being as a Challenge to Naturalism. In Chapter Three Adams discusses and criticizes those accounts of a person’s well being which characterize it in terms of counterfactuals regarding her actual desires and preferences. These criticisms are important for the question of ethical naturalism because any plausible naturalist position will have to portray a person’s well-being as somehow or other supervening on features of her psychology and her environment. The sorts of analyses Adams criticizes are the most prominent analyses consistent (...)
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  • Finite Beings, Finite Goods: The Semantics, Metaphysics and Ethics of Naturalist Consequentialism, Part I.Richard Boyd - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):505–553.
    0.0. Theistic Ethics as a Challenge and a Diagnostic Tool. Naturalistic conceptions in metaethics come in many varieties. Many philosophers who have sought to situate moral reasoning in a naturalistic metaphysical conception have thought it necessary to adopt non-cognitivist, prescriptivist, projectivist, relativist, or otherwise deflationary conceptions. Recently there has been a revival of interest in non-deflationary moral realist approaches to ethical naturalism. Many non-deflationary approaches have exploited the resources of non-empiricist “causal” or “naturalistic” conceptions of reference and of kind definitions (...)
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  • Internalism About a Person’s Good: Don’T Believe It.Alexander Sarch - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):161-184.
    Internalism about a person's good is roughly the view that in order for something to intrinsically enhance a person's well-being, that person must be capable of caring about that thing. I argue in this paper that internalism about a person's good should not be believed. Though many philosophers accept the view, Connie Rosati provides the most comprehensive case in favor of it. Her defense of the view consists mainly in offering five independent arguments to think that at least some form (...)
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  • The Vanishing Argument From Queerness.Lee Shepski - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):371 – 387.
    The ' argument from queerness', made famous by J. L. Mackie, remains one of the most influential arguments in metaethics. However, many philosophers focus on just one or two of its strands, while others assume a particular but by no means universal reading of it. This essay attempts to disentangle and evaluate all strands of the argument. Surprisingly, when this is done, not much is left as a distinct argument from queerness. Much of the argument collapses into other types of (...)
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  • The Origins of Morality: An Essay in Philosophical Anthropology.Andrew Oldenquist - 1990 - Social Philosophy and Policy 8 (1):121.
    By what steps, historically, did morality emerge? Our remote ancestors evolved into social animals. Sociality requires, among other things, restraints on disruptive sexual, hostile, aggressive, vengeful, and acquisitive behavior. Since we are innately social and not social by convention, we can assume the biological evolution of the emotional equipment – numerous predispositions to want, fear, feel anxious or secure – required for social living, just as we can assume cultural evolution of various means to control antisocial behavior and reinforce the (...)
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  • Perl and Schroeder’s Presuppositional Error Theory.David Copp - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1473-1493.
    Ronald Dworkin charges that the error theory is a position in first-order moral theory that should be judged by the standards that are appropriately used in evaluating first-order theories. Perl and Schroeder contend that a “presuppositional error theory” can avoid Dworkin’s charge. On the presuppositional view, moral sentences, such as, “It is wrong to torture babies,” have a false presupposition. Perhaps, for example, they presuppose that there are objectively prescriptive moral standards. This proposal can be understood in different ways, depending (...)
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  • Assimilative Moral Realism and Supervenience.Ken Yasenchuk - 1995 - Dialogue 34 (1):75-.
  • Metaethical Relativism: Against the Single Analysis Assumption.Ragnar Francén - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    This dissertation investigates the plausibility of metaethical relativism, or more specifically, what I call “moral truth-value relativism”: the idea that the truth of a moral statement or belief depends on who utters or has it, or who assesses it. According to the most prevalent variants of this view in philosophical literature – “standard relativism” – the truth-values are relative to people’s moralities, often understood as some subset of their affective or desirelike attitudes. Standard relativism has two main contenders: absolutism – (...)
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  • A Defence of Metaphysical Ethical Naturalism.[author unknown] - unknown
    This dissertation is a defence of metaphysical ethical naturalism according to which there is a moral reality which is part of the natural world. The implication of this view is that moral properties, such as moral goodness, justice, compassion and so forth are part of the natural world, and inquiries concerning these moral entities are conducted in similar empirical ways of reasoning to that in which scientific inquiries are conducted. I defend metaphysical ethical naturalism by a variety of explanationist argument (...)
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  • Are Normative Properties Descriptive Properties?Bart Streumer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (3):325 - 348.
    Some philosophers think that normative properties are identical to descriptive properties. In this paper, I argue that this entails that it is possible to say which descriptive properties normative properties are identical to. I argue that Frank Jackson's argument to show that this is possible fails, and that the objections to this argument show that it is impossible to say which descriptive properties normative properties are identical to. I conclude that normative properties are not identical to descriptive properties. I then (...)
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  • Moral Realism and Twin Earth.Stephen Laurence, Eric Margolis & Angus Dawson - 1999 - Facta Philosophica 1:135-165.
    Hilary Putnam's Twin Earth thought experiment has come to have an enormous impact on contemporary philosophical thought. But while most of the discussion has taken place within the context of the philosophy of mind and language, Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons (H8cT) have defended the intriguing suggestion that a variation on the original thought experiment has important consequences for ethics.' In a series of papers, they' ve developed the idea of a Moral Twin Earth and have argued that its significance (...)
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  • Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence.Jonas Olson - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Jonas Olson presents a critical survey of moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and so all moral claims are false. Part I explores the historical context of the debate; Part II assesses J. L. Mackie's famous arguments; Part III defends error theory against challenges and considers its implications for our moral thinking.
  • واقع‌گرایی در نظام معرفت‌اخلاقی علامه طباطبایی.ابوذر نوروزی & محسن شیراوند - 2018 - پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطالعات فرهنگی 9 (1):85-110.
    چکیده علامه­ طباطبایی فیلسوفی کلاسیک بر ممشای حکمت متعالیه و مفسر بزرگ قرآن کریم است اما اندیشه­ی وی در این دو حوزه محدود و متمرکز نشده و در حوزه‌های معرفتی دیگر نیز دارای اندیشه‌های بدیعی است. یکی از این حوزه‌ها فلسفه‌ی اخلاق است. بی‌تردید اصلی‌ترین بحث در فلسفه‌ی اخلاق به تقسیم‌بندی واقع‌گرایی و غیر واقع‌گرایی اخلاقی تعلق دارد. هدف از این پژوهش پردازش این مسأله است که علامه طباطبایی در کدام‌یک از این دسته‌بندی‌ها جای دارد و تبیین آن با کدام (...)
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  • The Argument From Agreement: How Universal Values Undermine Moral Realism.Hanno Sauer - forthcoming - Ratio.
    The most popular argument against moral realism is the argument from disagreement: if there are mind‐independent moral facts, then we would not expect to find as much moral disagreement as we in fact do; therefore, moral realism is false. In this paper, I develop the flipside of this argument. According to this argument from agreement, we would expect to find lots of moral disagreement if there were mind‐independent moral facts. But we do not, in fact, find much moral disagreement; therefore, (...)
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  • Troubles for New Wave Moral Semantics: The 'Open Question Argument' Revived.Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons - 1992 - Philosophical Papers 21 (3):153-175.
    (1992). TROUBLES FOR NEW WAVE MORAL SEMANTICS: THE ‘OPEN QUESTION ARGUMENT’ REVIVED. Philosophical Papers: Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 153-175. doi: 10.1080/05568649209506380.
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  • What Realism Implies and What It Does Not.Richard Boyd - 1989 - Dialectica 43 (1‐2):5-29.
    SummaryThis paper addresses the question of what scientific realism implies and what it does not when it is articulated so as to provide the best defense against plausible philosophical alternatives. A summary is presented of “abductive” arguments for scientific realism, and of the epistemological and semantic conceptions upon which they depend. Taking these arguments to be the best current defense of realism, it is inquired what, in the sense just mentioned, realism implies and what it does not. It is concluded (...)
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  • Same Duties, Different Motives: Ethical Theory and the Phenomenon of Moral Motive Pluralism.Hugh Breakey - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):531-552.
    Viewed in its entirety, moral philosophizing, and the moral behavior of people throughout history, presents a curious puzzle. On the one hand, interpersonal duties display a remarkably stable core content: morality the world over enjoins people to keep their word; refrain from violence, theft and cheating; and help those in need. On the other hand, the asserted motives that drive people’s moral actions evince a dazzling diversity: from empathy or sympathy, to practical or prudential reason, to custom and honor, cultural (...)
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  • Troubles on Moral Twin Earth: Moral Queerness Revived.Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons - 1992 - Synthese 92 (2):221 - 260.
    J. L. Mackie argued that if there were objective moral properties or facts, then the supervenience relation linking the nonmoral to the moral would be metaphysically queer. Moral realists reply that objective supervenience relations are ubiquitous according to contemporary versions of metaphysical naturalism and, hence, that there is nothing especially queer about moral supervenience. In this paper we revive Mackie's challenge to moral realism. We argue: (i) that objective supervenience relations of any kind, moral or otherwise, should be explainable rather (...)
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  • Desire as Belief, Lewis Notwithstanding.Ruth Weintraub - 2007 - Analysis 67 (2):116-122.
    In two curiously neglected papers, David Lewis claims to reduce to absurdity the supposition (commonly labeled DAB) that (some) desires are belief-like. My aim in this paper is to explain the significance of this claim and rebut the proof.
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  • Can Cornell Moral Realism Adequately Account for Moral Knowledge?Elizabeth Tropman - 2012 - Theoria 78 (1):26-46.
    This article raises a problem for Cornell varieties of moral realism. According to Cornell moral realists, we can know about moral facts just as we do the empirical facts of the natural sciences. If this is so, it would remove any special mystery that is supposed to attach to our knowledge of objective moral facts. After clarifying the ways in which moral knowledge is to be similar to scientific knowledge, I claim that the analogy fails, but for little-noticed reasons. A (...)
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  • What Do Our Critical Practices Say About the Nature of Morality?Charlie Kurth - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):45-64.
    A prominent argument for moral realism notes that we are inclined to accept realism in science because scientific inquiry supports a robust set of critical practices—error, improvement, explanation, and the like. It then argues that because morality displays a comparable set of critical practices, a claim to moral realism is just as warranted as a claim to scientific realism. But the argument is only as strong as its central analogy—and here there is trouble. If the analogy between the critical practices (...)
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  • Mackie on Practical Reason.David Phillips - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):457-468.
    I argue that Mackie's approach to practical reasons is attractive and unjustly neglected. In particular I argue that it is much more plausible than the kind of instrumentalist approach famously articulated by Bernard Williams. This matters for Mackie's arguments for moral skepticism. Contra Richard Joyce, I argue that it is a serious mistake to invoke instrumentalism in arguing for moral skepticism.
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  • Varieties of Expressivism.Dorit Bar-On & James Sias - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):699-713.
    After offering a characterization of what unites versions of ‘expressivism’, we highlight a number of dimensions along which expressivist views should be distinguished. We then separate four theses often associated with expressivism – a positive expressivist thesis, a positive constitutivist thesis, a negative ontological thesis, and a negative semantic thesis – and describe how traditional expressivists have attempted to incorporate them. We argue that expressivism in its traditional form may be fatally flawed, but that expressivists nonetheless have the resources for (...)
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  • Really Taking Darwin Seriously: An Alternative to Michael Ruse's Darwinian Metaethics. [REVIEW]William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (2):149-173.
    Michael Ruse has proposed in his recent book Taking Darwin Seriously and elsewhere a new Darwinian ethics distinct from traditional evolutionary ethics, one that avoids the latter's inadequate accounts of the nature of morality and its failed attempts to provide a naturalistic justification of morality. Ruse argues for a sociobiologically based account of moral sentiments, and an evolutionary based casual explanation of their function, rejecting the possibility of ultimate ethical justification. We find that Ruse's proposal distorts, overextends and weakens both (...)
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  • Liberty and the Constitution.Michael S. Moore - 2015 - Legal Theory 21 (3-4):156-241.
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  • Empiricism in Science and Ethics.Stefan Sencerz - 1993 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):449-470.
    We elucidate the conditions under which any hypothesis is explanatorily relevant by analyzing several tests of explanatory relevance and explanations based on those tests. A new causal criterion of explanatory relevance is developed and defended. We show how the causal criterion succeeds in establishing, at the very least, a very strong presumption against moral facts.
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  • Two Main Problems in the Sociology of Morality.Gabriel Abend - 2008 - Theory and Society 37 (2):87-125.
  • Moral Realism and the Burden of Argument.Ken Yasenchuk - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):247-264.
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  • Evolution and Error Theory.John Mizzoni - 2010 - Social Science Information 49 (2):165-194.
    Error theorists argue that there is a fundamental mistake, an error of some kind, at the heart of commonsense morality. They have drawn on evolutionary theory to support some of their claims. This article looks at four different models of evolution and assesses what implications can be drawn from them concerning commonsense morality and the claims of the error theorists Mackie, Ruse and Joyce. The author first spells out the main points of error theory, then discusses how recent proponents of (...)
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  • Return to Moral Twin Earth.David Merli - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):207-240.
    Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons's ' moral twin earth argument' raises doubts about the naturalistic realist's ability to make sense of genuine disagreement. I offer three arguments the realist's behalf. First, I argue that the example at the heart of their argument is underdescribed; when fully developed, it loses its intuitive force. Second, I suggest that taking the stipulations of the Horgan-Timmons example seriously gives us reason to revise our initial judgments. Third, I propose combining naturalistic realism about moral judgments (...)
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  • Sound Intuitions on Moral Twin Earth.Michael Rubin - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):307-327.
    A number of philosophers defend naturalistic moral realism by appeal to an externalist semantics for moral predicates. The application of semantic externalism to moral predicates has been attacked by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons in a series of papers that make use of their “ Moral Twin Earth ” thought experiment. In response, several defenders of naturalistic moral realism have claimed that the Moral Twin Earth thought experiment is misleading and yields distorted and inaccurate semantic intuitions. If they are right, (...)
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  • Ethical Naturalism and Moral Twin Earth.Andrea Viggiano - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):213-224.
    In order to rebut G. E. Moore’s open question argument, ethical naturalists adopt a theory of direct reference for our moral terms. T. Horgan and M. Timmons have argued that this theory cannot be applied to moral terms, on the ground that it clashes with competent speakers’ linguistic intuitions. While Putnam’s Twin Earth thought experiment shows that our linguistic intuitions confirm the theory of direct reference, as applied to ‘water’, Horgan and Timmons devise a parallel thought experiment about moral terms, (...)
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  • Theories of Welfare, Theories of Good Reasons for Action, and Ontological Naturalism.Brad Hooker - 1991 - Philosophical Papers 20 (1):25-36.