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  1. How Moral Facts Cause Moral Progress.Andrés Luco - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):429-448.
    Morally progressive social changes seem to have taken place with the onset of democratic governance, the abolition of slavery, the rise of gender equality, and other developments. This essay attempts to demonstrate that natural and objective moral facts are a plausible cause of some morally progressive social changes. Since this hypothesis is a version of naturalistic moral realism, I call it the Naturalist-Realist Hypothesis. To support the NRH, I argue that objective moral facts are natural facts pertaining to the impartial (...)
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  • Water is and is Not H 2 O.Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):183-208.
    The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Although this thought experiment was originally introduced to illuminate questions in the theory of reference, it has also played a crucial role in empirically informed debates within the philosophy of psychology about people’s ordinary natural kind concepts. Those debates have sought to accommodate (...)
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  • Reductionism in Ethics.Chris Heathwood - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    An encyclopedia entry on the issue of whether morality is reducible -- that is, whether moral facts are identical to facts that can be expressed in non-moral terms.
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  • Neo-Kantian Constructivism and Metaethics.Kirk Surgener - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Christine Korsgaard has attempted to defend a distinct approach to metaethics – Neo-Kantian Constructivism. Not only does she present a positive case for her own view, she also attacks existing metaethical positions and even the disctinctions that metaethics has traditionally relied on. This thesis is a sustained examination of this position. I consider whether Korsgaard can legitimately claim to be offering a metaethical position at all, providing her with some defence against the scepticism of some metaethicists. I also examine her (...)
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  • The World is Not Enough.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. (...)
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  • Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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  • Moral Attitudes for Non-Cognitivists: Solving the Specification Problem.Gunnar Björnsson & Tristram McPherson - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):1-38.
    Moral non-cognitivists hope to explain the nature of moral agreement and disagreement as agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitudes. In doing so, they take on the task of identifying the relevant attitudes, distinguishing the non-cognitive attitudes corresponding to judgements of moral wrongness, for example, from attitudes involved in aesthetic disapproval or the sports fan’s disapproval of her team’s performance. We begin this paper by showing that there is a simple recipe for generating apparent counterexamples to any informative specification of the (...)
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  • A Simple Escape From Moral Twin Earth.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):109-118.
    This paper offers a simple response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) objection to Naturalist Moral Realism (NMR). NMR typically relies on an externalist metasemantics such as a causal theory of reference. The MTE objection is that such a theory predicts that terms like ‘good’ and ‘right’ have a different reference in certain twin communities where it’s intuitively clear that the twins are talking about the same thing when using ‘good’. I argue that Boyd’s causal regulation theory, the original target (...)
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  • The Significance of Ethical Disagreement for Theories of Ethical Thought and Talk.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 275-291.
    This chapter has two sections, each focusing on a distinct way in which ethical disagreement and variations in ethical judgment matter for theories of ethical thought and talk. In the first section, we look at how the variation poses problems for both cognitivist and non-cognitivist ways of specifying the nature of ethical judgments. In the second, we look at how disagreement phenomena have been taken to undermine cognitivist accounts, but also at how the seeming variation in cognitive and non-cognitive contents (...)
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  • 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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  • Moral Twin-Earth and Semantic Moral Realism.Heimir Geirsson - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (3):353-378.
    Mark Timmons and Terry Horgan have argued that the new moral realism, which rests on the causal theory of reference, is untenable. While I do agree that the new moral realism is untenable, I do not think that Timmons and Horgan have succeeded in showing that it is. I will lay out the case for new moral realism and Horgan and Timmons’ argument against it, and then argue that their argument fails. Further, I will discuss Boyd’s semantic theory as well (...)
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  • One‐Person Moral Twin Earth Cases.Neil Sinhababu - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):16-22.
  • Philosophy of Language for Metaethics.Mark Schroeder - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central to metaethics – and not simply (...)
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  • Knowing Enough to Disagree: A New Response to the Moral Twin Earth Argument.Mark van Roojen - 2006 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 1. Clarendon Press. pp. 161-94.
    At the beginning of the twentieth century, G. E. Moore’s open question argument convinced many philosophers that moral statements were not equivalent to statements made using non- moral or descriptive terms. For any non- moral description of an object or object it seemed that competent speakers could without confusion doubt that the action or object was appropriately characterized using moral terms such as ‘good’ or ‘right’. The question of whether the action or object so described was good or right was (...)
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  • 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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  • Do ‘Objectivist’ Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism?Gunnar Björnsson - 2012 - Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
    Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining why this (...)
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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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  • Moral Judgment Purposivism: Saving Internalism From Amoralism.M. S. Bedke - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (2):189-209.
    Consider orthodox motivational judgment internalism: necessarily, A’s sincere moral judgment that he or she ought to φ motivates A to φ. Such principles fail because they cannot accommodate the amoralist, or one who renders moral judgments without any corresponding motivation. The orthodox alternative, externalism, posits only contingent relations between moral judgment and motivation. In response I first revive conceptual internalism by offering some modifications on the amoralist case to show that certain community-wide motivational failures are not conceptually possible. Second, I (...)
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  • A Metaethical Option for Theists.Kyle Swan - 2006 - In Journal of Religious Ethics. pp. 3-20.
    John Hare has proposed “prescriptive realism” in an attempt to stake out a middle-ground position in the twentieth century Anglo-American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist-expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle-ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
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  • A Metaethical Option for Theists.Kyle Swan - 2006 - Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (1):3-20.
    ABSTRACTJohn Hare has proposed “prescriptive realism” in an attempt to stake out a middle‐ground position in the twentieth century Anglo‐American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist‐expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle‐ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
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  • Semantic Challenges to Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (2):126-136.
    Normative realists might be assumed to have few worries about semantics. After all, a realist might initially hope to simply adopt the best semantic theory about ordinary descriptive language. However, beginning with the non‐cognitivist appropriation of the open question argument, a number of philosophers have posed serious objections to the realist’s ability to offer a plausible semantic theory. This paper introduces the two most influential semantic challenges to normative realism: the open question argument, and the Moral Twin Earth argument. It (...)
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  • Unreliable Intuitions: A New Reply to the Moral Twin-Earth Argument.Jorn Sonderholm - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):76-88.
    This article is concerned with Mark Timmons and Terence Horgan's influential twin - earth argument against the semantic views of that school of thought in metaethics that has come to be known as “Cornell realism”. The semantic views of Cornell realism have been developed in greatest detail by Richard Boyd, and it is Boyd's view that is targeted by Timmons and Horgan. In the first part of the article, the twin - earth argument is introduced and two versions of it (...)
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  • Believing In Twin Earth: New Evidence for the Normativity of Belief.Seyed Ali Kalantari & Alexander Miller - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1327-1339.
    According to many philosophers, the notion of belief is constitutively normative ; Shah ; Shah and Velleman (); Gibbard (); Wedgwood ). In a series of widely discussed papers, Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons have developed an ingenious ‘Moral Twin Earth’ argument against ‘Cornell Realist’ metaethical views which hold that moral terms have synthetic natural definitions in the manner of natural kind terms. In this paper we shall suggest that an adaptation of the Moral Twin Earth argument to the doxastic (...)
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  • The Eligibility of Ethical Naturalism.Douglas Edwards - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):1-18.
    Perhaps the two main contemporary formulations of ethical naturalism – Synthetic Ethical Naturalism (SEN) and Analytical Descriptivism – seem to conflict with plausible views about cases where moral debate and disagreement is possible. Both lack safeguards to avoid divergence of reference across different communities, which can scupper the prospects for genuine moral disagreement. I explore the prospects for supplementing both views with Lewis's notion of eligibility, arguing that this can solve the problem for a modified form of analytical descriptivism, and (...)
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