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Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics

In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 536-551 (2017)

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  1. Can the empirical sciences contribute to the moral realism/anti-realism debate?Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4907-4930.
    An increasing number of moral realists and anti-realists have recently attempted to support their views by appeal to science. Arguments of this kind are typically criticized on the object-level. In addition, however, one occasionally also comes across a more sweeping metatheoretical skepticism. Scientific contributions to the question of the existence of objective moral truths, it is claimed, are impossible in principle; most prominently, because such arguments impermissibly derive normative from descriptive propositions, such arguments beg the question against non-naturalist moral realism, (...)
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  • Categorical phenomenalism about sexual orientation.T. R. Whitlow & N. G. Laskowski - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (3):581-596.
    What is sexual orientation? The contemporary consensus among philosophers is that it is a disposition. Unsurprisingly, recent debates about the metaphysics of sexual orientation are almost entirely intramural. Behavioral dispositionalists argue that sexual orientation is a disposition to behave sexually. Desire dispositionalists argue that it is a disposition to desire sexually. We argue that sexual orientation is not best understood in terms of dispositions to behave or dispositions to desire before arguing that dispositions tout court fail to illuminate sexual orientation. (...)
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  • The World is Not Enough.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - 2019 - Noûs 55 (1):86-101.
    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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  • The meta-ethical significance of experiments about folk moral objectivism.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):831-852.
    The meta-ethical commitments of folk respondents – specifically their commitment to the objectivity of moral claims – have recently become subject to empirical scrutiny. Experimental findings suggest that people are meta-ethical pluralists: There is both inter- and intrapersonal variation with regard to people’s objectivist commitments. What meta-ethical implications, if any, do these findings have? I point out that current research does not directly address traditional meta-ethical questions: The methods used and distinctions drawn by experimenters do not perfectly match those of (...)
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  • A defence of the evolutionary debunking argument.Man Him Ip - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis, I will explore the epistemological evolutionary debunking arguments in meta-ethics. I will defend these arguments by accomplishing two tasks: I will offer the best way to understand the EDA and I will also respond to two strongest objections to the EDA. Firstly, in Part I of this thesis, I will offer my account of how the EDA should be best formulated. I will start from how evolution has significantly influenced our moral beliefs. I will then explain why, (...)
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  • Resisting Reductive Realism.N. G. Laskowski - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 15. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 96 - 117.
    Ethicists struggle to take reductive views seriously. They also have trouble conceiving of some supervenience failures. Understanding why provides further evidence for a kind of hybrid view of normative concept use.
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