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Principia Ethica

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  1. Why Moral Error Theorists Should Become Revisionary Moral Expressivists.Toby Svoboda - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-25.
    Moral error theorists hold that morality is deeply mistaken, thus raising the question of whether and how moral judgments and utterances should continue to be employed. Proposals include simply abolishing morality, adopting some revisionary fictionalist stance toward morality, and conserving moral judgments and utterances unchanged. I defend a fourth proposal, namely revisionary moral expressivism, which recommends replacing cognitivist moral judgments and utterances with non-cognitivist ones. Given that non-cognitivist attitudes are not truth apt, revisionary expressivism does not involve moral error. Moreover, (...)
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  • Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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  • Right Act, Virtuous Motive.Thomas Hurka - 2010 - In Heather D. Battaly (ed.), Virtue and Vice, Moral and Epistemic. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 58-72.
    Abstract: The concepts of virtue and right action are closely connected, in that we expect people with virtuous motives to at least often act rightly. Two well-known views explain this connection by defining one of the concepts in terms of the other. Instrumentalists about virtue identify virtuous motives as those that lead to right acts; virtue-ethicists identify right acts as those that are or would be done from virtuous motives. This essay outlines a rival explanation, based on the "higher-level" account (...)
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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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  • The Epistemology of Ethical Intuitions.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (2):175-200.
    Intuitions are widely assumed to play an important evidential role in ethical inquiry. In this paper I critically discuss a recently influential claim that the epistemological credentials of ethical intuitions are undermined by their causal pedigree and functional role. I argue that this claim is exaggerated. In the course of doing so I argue that the challenge to ethical intuitions embodied in this claim should be understood not only as a narrowly epistemological challenge, but also as a substantially ethical one. (...)
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  • Wat is menselijk? Wat is wenselijk?Pouwel Slurink - 2006 - Krisis 7 (1):26-41.
    Relatively short Dutch introduction to an evolutionary approach to morality. A synthesis is given of various models of moral evolution. Some remarks are made on a way to look at the evolution of a compatibilistic 'free will' and a model is given of a way in which the 'good' can be understood as the results of shared interests (which, of course, gives an incomplete model, but at the same time throws a lot of light on the way in which we (...)
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  • Is, Ought, and the Regress Argument.Jacob Sparks - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):528-543.
    Many take the claim that you cannot ‘get’ an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ to imply that non- moral beliefs are by themselves incapable of justifying moral beliefs. I argue that this is a mistake and that the position that moral beliefs are justified exclusively by non-moral beliefs—a view that I call moral inferentialism—presents an attractive non-sceptical moral epistemology.
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  • How Superduper Does a Physicalist Supervenience Need to Be?Jessica M. Wilson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (194):33-52.
    Note: this is the first published presentation and defense of the 'proper subset strategy' for making sense of non-reductive physicalism or the associated notion of realization; this is sometimes, inaccurately, called "Shoemaker's subset strategy"; if people could either call it the 'subset strategy' or better yet, add my name to the mix I would appreciate it. Horgan claims that physicalism requires "superdupervenience" -- supervenience plus robust ontological explanation of the supervenient in terms of the base properties. I argue that Horgan's (...)
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  • The Physical: Empirical, Not Metaphysical.J. L. Dowell, & Janice Dowell - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):25-60.
    2. The Contingency and A posteriority Constraint: A formulation of the thesis must make physicalism come out contingent and a posteriori. First, physicalism is a contingent truth, if it is a truth. This means that physicalism could have been false, i.e. there are counterfactual worlds in which physicalism is false, for example, counterfactual worlds in which there are miracle -performing angels.[9] Moreover, if physicalism is true, our knowledge of its truth is a posteriori. This is to say that there are (...)
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  • Barry Stroud, the Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour.Jonathan Cohen - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):537-554.
    In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, and (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Friedrich Nietzsche? Effective and Ineffective Criticisms: Phelan Who's Afraid of Friedrich Nietzsche?Jon Phelan - 2010 - Think 9 (26):109-118.
    When one finds a philosopher inspiring, it is all too easy to adopt an uncritical reading. This would be to treat the author as an exception. The hallmark of such arguments from reverence is that they often start with ‘As so-and-so said…’ and appear as the final statement on the matter. Friedrich Nietzsche is subject to such reverential treatment at the hand of undergraduate and A-Level devotees. I hope in the course of this brief survey to suggest some worthwhile criticisms (...)
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  • Keynes's Changing Conception of Probability: Bradley W. Bateman.Bradley W. Bateman - 1987 - Economics and Philosophy 3 (1):97-119.
    One of the most actively discussed aspects of Keynes's thought during the last decade has been his concern with uncertainty and probability theory. As the concerns of current macroeconomic theorists have turned increasingly to the effects of expectations and uncertainty, interest has grown in the fact that Keynes was the author of A Treatise on Probability and that uncertainty plays a prominent role in Chapter 12 of The General Theory as well as in three 1937 papers in which he summarized (...)
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  • Can We Talk About Ethics Anymore?John Hill - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (8):585-592.
    It is difficult to talk about ethics in Australia these days, because the different metamoral languages make it difficult for people to communicate on moral matters; there are no generally accepted criteria for assessing the meaning and truth of moral propositions; and witness talks larger in these matters than theoretical expertise, and the ideals that favour the acceptance of credible role models are no longer generally accepted. We should not assume that we can say anything meaningful about business ethics. One (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure and Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
    One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other phenomena: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either pleasure or welfare (...)
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  • Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism.Chris Heathwood - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
    Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one's life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about pleasure is (...)
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  • How to Pull a Metaphysical Rabbit Out of an End-Relational Semantic Hat.Nicholas Laskowski - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (4):589-607.
    Analytic reductivism in metaethics has long been out of philosophical vogue. In Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normativity (2014), Stephen Finlay tries to resuscitate it by developing an analytic metaethical reductive naturalistic semantics for ‘good.’ He argues that an end-relational semantics is the simplest account that can explain all of the data concerning the term, and hence the most plausible theory of it. I argue that there are several assumptions that a reductive naturalist would need to make about contextual (...)
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  • The Originality of Ross’s Meta-Ethical View on Good and its Justification in Moral Act in Light of the Philosophy of Kant and Moore.Hossein Kalbasi Ashtari & Bita Nakhaei - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 13 (26):339-360.
    One of the most important concepts in meta-ethics which are used in moral contexts and has a significant role in moral judgments is the concept of goodness, which is a value concept. William David Ross was a philosopher who scrutinized this concept and said it is not analyzable to other moral concepts such as ought, right, duty and responsibility. Although other philosophers preceded him including Kant and Moore theorized about goodness and had different accounts about this concept, their views had (...)
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  • Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
    Argument that full grounds modally entail what they ground.
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  • Uncertainty and Identity: A Post Keynesian Approach.John B. Davis - 2010 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):33-49.
    Marshall’s asset equilibrium model provides a way ofexplaining the identity of entrepreneurs. Keynes adopted this model buttransformed it when he emphasized the short-period and volatilecharacter of long-term expectations. This entails a view of entrepreneuridentity in which radical uncertainty plays a central role. This in turndeepens the post Keynesian view of uncertainty as ontological in thatentrepreneurs’ survival plays into their behavior. This paper exploresthis role-based view of individual identity and uses the analysis tocomment on Keynes’s ideas for the socialization of investment (...)
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  • Financial Risk Models in the Light of the Banking Crisis 2007–2008.Mattia L. Rattaggi - 2012 - Journal of Critical Realism 11 (4):462-486.
    The financial crisis that began in the US real-estate market in 2007 and culminated in a global economic slump showed bluntly how wrong financial risk models can be. This state of affairs has triggered a number of reactions and observations at the level of the specification and use of models and at a more conceptual/fundamental level. This article focuses on the epistemic features of such models – namely the nature, source, conditions of validity, structure and limits of the knowledge that (...)
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  • Resisting Buck-Passing Accounts of Prudential Value.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):77-91.
    This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...)
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  • Might Anything Be Plain Good?Thomas Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3335-3346.
    G.E. Moore said that rightness was obviously a matter of maximising plain goodness. Peter Geach and Judith Thomson disagree. They have both argued that ‘good’ is not a predicative adjective, but only ever an attributive adjective: just like ‘big.’ And just as there is no such thing as plain bigness but only ever big for or as a so-and-so, there is also no such thing as plain goodness. They conclude that Moore’s goodness is thus a nonsense. However attention has been (...)
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  • Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):238-255.
    There is a long tradition comparing moral knowledge to mathematical knowledge. In this paper, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between knowledge in the two areas, realistically conceived. I argue that many of these are only apparent, while others are less philosophically significant than might be thought. The picture that emerges is surprising. There are definitely differences between epistemological arguments in the two areas. However, these differences, if anything, increase the plausibility of moral realism as compared to mathematical realism. It (...)
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  • Rossian Totalism About Intrinsic Value.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2069-2086.
    This paper defends a novel account of how to determine the intrinsic value of possible worlds. Section 1 argues that a highly intuitive and widely accepted account leads to undesirable consequences. Section 2 takes the first of two steps towards a novel account by clarifying and defending a view about value-contribution that is based on some of W. D. Ross’ claims about the value of pleasure. Section 3 takes the second step by clarifying and defending a view about value-suppression that (...)
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  • Un Singer peut-il en remplacer un autre ?Nicolas Delon - 2016 - Klesis 32:150-190.
    In the third edition of ‘Practical Ethics’ (2011), Peter Singer reexamines the so-called “replaceability argument,” according to which merely sentient beings, as opposed to persons (self-conscious and with a robust sense of time), are replaceable—it is in principle permissible to kill them provided that they live pleasant lives that they would not have had otherwise and that they be replaced by equally happy beings. On this view, existence is a benefit and death is not a harm. Singer’s challenge is to (...)
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  • Exploring the Relationship Between Virtue Ethics and Moral Identity.Changwoo Jeong & Hyemin Han - 2013 - Ethics and Behavior 23 (1):44-56.
    The concept of moral identity based on virtue ethics has become an issue of considerable import in explaining moral behavior. This attempt to offer adequate explanations of the full range of morally relevant human behavior inevitably provokes boundary issues between ethics and moral psychology. In terms of the relationship between the two disciplines, some argue for ?naturalized (or psychologized) morality,? whereas, on the other hand, others insist on ?moralized psychology.? This article investigates the relationship between virtue ethics and moral identity (...)
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  • Physicalism and Moorean Supervenience.Thomas W. Polger - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):72-92.
    G. E. Moore argues that goodness is an intrinsic non-natural property that supervenes irreducibly on the intrinsic natural properties of its bearers. Accordingly, it is often supposed that “Moorean” supervenience is incompatible with physicalism, a naturalistic thesis. In this paper I argue that Moorean supervenience is not in itself incompatible with physicalism, Moore’s ethical non-naturalism notwithstanding. Understanding why will help us to better appreciate the full range of resources available to physicalists.
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  • Shapelessness in Context.Pekka Väyrynen - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):573-593.
    Many philosophers believe that the extensions of evaluative terms and concepts aren’t unified under non-evaluative similarity relations and that this “shapelessness thesis” (ST) has significant metaethical implications regarding non-cognitivism, ethical naturalism, moral particularism, thick concepts and more. ST is typically offered as an explanation of why evaluative classifications appear to “outrun” classifications specifiable in independently intelligible non-evaluative terms. This paper argues that both ST and the outrunning point used to motivate it can be explained on the basis of more general (...)
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  • Epistemology as Engineering?Chase B. Wrenn - 2006 - Theoria 72 (1):60-79.
    According to a common objection to epistemological naturalism, no empirical, scientific theory of knowledge can be normative in the way epistemological theories need to be. In response, such naturalists as W.V. Quine have claimed naturalized epistemology can be normative by emulating engineering disciplines and addressing the relations of causal efficacy between our cognitive means and ends. This paper evaluates that "engineering reply" and finds it a mixed success. Based on consideration of what it might mean to call a theory "normative," (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Primitive Truth.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):503-519.
    Conceptual primitivism is the view that truth is among our most basic and fundamental concepts. It cannot be defined, analyzed, or reduced into concepts that are more fundamental. Primitivism is opposed to both traditional attempts at defining truth (in terms of correspondence, coherence, or utility) and deflationary theories that argue that the notion of truth is exhausted by means of the truth schema. Though primitivism might be thought of as a view of last resort, I believe that the view is (...)
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  • A Very Good Reason to Reject the Buck-Passing Account.Alex Gregory - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):287-303.
    This paper presents a new objection to the buck-passing account of value. I distinguish the buck-passing account of predicative value from the buck-passing account of attributive value. According to the latter, facts about attributive value reduce to facts about reasons and their weights. But since facts about reasons’ weights are themselves facts about attributive value, this account presupposes what it is supposed to explain. As part of this argument, I also argue against Mark Schroeder's recent account of the weights of (...)
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  • The Knowledge Argument, the Open Question Argument, and the Moral Problem.Michael Pelczar - 2009 - Synthese 171 (1):25 - 45.
    Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical nature could, apparently, suffer from ignorance about various aspects of conscious experience. Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical and mental nature could, apparently, suffer from moral ignorance. Does it follow that there are ways the world is, over and above the way it is physically or psychophysically? This paper defends a negative answer, based on a distinction between knowing the fact that p and knowing that p. This distinction is made (...)
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  • Safeguards of a Disunified Mind.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):356-383.
    The papers focuses on pragmatic arguments for various rationality constraints on a decision maker’s state of mind: on her beliefs or preferences. An argument of this kind typically targets constraint violations. It purports to show that a violator of a given constraint can be confronted with a decision problem in which she will act to her guaranteed disadvantage. Dramatically put, she can be exploited by a clever bookie who doesn’t know more than the agent herself. Examples of pragmatic arguments of (...)
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  • Solidarity and Social Moral Rules.Adam Cureton - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):691-706.
    The value of solidarity, which is exemplified in noble groups like the Civil Rights Movement along with more mundane teams, families and marriages, is distinctive in part because people are in solidarity over, for or with regard to something, such as common sympathies, interests, values, etc. I use this special feature of solidarity to resolve a longstanding puzzle about enacted social moral rules, which is, aren’t these things just heuristics, rules of thumb or means of coordination that we ‘fetishize’ or (...)
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  • Four Faces of Moral Realism.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):820-849.
    This essay explains for a general philosophical audience the central issues and strategies in the contemporary moral realism debate. It critically surveys the contribution of some recent scholarship, representing expressivist and pragmatist nondescriptivism, subjectivist and nonsubjectivist naturalism, nonnaturalism and error theory. Four different faces of ‘ moral realism ’ are distinguished: semantic, ontological, metaphysical, and normative. The debate is presented as taking shape under dialectical pressure from the demands of capturing the moral appearances and reconciling morality with our understanding of (...)
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  • A Set of Solutions to Parfit's Problems.Stuart Rachels - 2001 - Noûs 35 (2):214–238.
    In Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit cannot find a theory of well-being that solves the Non-Identity Problem, the Repugnant Conclusion, the Absurd Conclusion, and all forms of the Mere Addition Paradox. I describe a “Quasi-Maximizing” theory that solves them. This theory includes (i) the denial that being better than is transitive and (ii) the “Conflation Principle,” according to which alternative B is hedonically better than alternative C if it would be better for someone to have all the B-experiences. (i) entails (...)
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  • Radiobiology and Gray Science: Flaws in Landmark New Radiation Protections.Kristin Shrader-Frechette - 2005 - Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (2):167-169.
    The International Commission on Radiological Protection — whose regularly updated recommendations are routinely adopted as law throughout the globe — recently issued the first-ever ICRP protections for the environment. These draft 2005 proposals are significant both because they offer the commission’s first radiation protections for any non-human parts of the planet and because they will influence both the quality of radiation risk assessment and environmental protection, as well as the global costs of nuclear-weapons cleanup, reactor decommissioning and radioactive waste management. (...)
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  • Siding with Euthyphro: Response-Dependence and Conferred Properties.Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):108-125.
    : I argue that a response‐dependence account of a concept can yield metaphysical results, and not merely epistemological or semantical results, which has been a prevalent view in the literature on response‐dependence. In particular, I show how one can argue for a conferralist account of a certain property by arguing that the concept of the property is response‐dependent, if certain assumptions are made.
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  • Is Diversity Good? Six Possible Conceptions of Diversity and Six Possible Answers.Mathieu Bouville - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (1):51-63.
    Prominent ethical and policy issues such as affirmative action and female enrollment in science and engineering revolve around the idea that diversity is good. However, a precise definition is seldom provided. I show that diversity may be construed as a factual description, a craving for symmetry, an intrinsic good, an instrumental good, a symptom, or a side effect. These acceptions differ vastly in their nature and properties. Some are deeply mistaken and some others cannot lead to concrete policies. It is (...)
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  • Virtues of Art: Good Taste.Dominic McIver Lopes - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):197-211.
    If good taste is a virtue, then an account of good taste might be modelled on existing accounts of moral or epistemic virtue. One good reason to develop such an account is that it helps solve otherwise intractable problems in aesthetics. This paper proposes an alternative to neo-Aristotelian models of good taste. It then contrasts the neo-Aristotelian models with the proposed model, assessing them for their potential to contend with otherwise intractable problems in aesthetics.
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  • Nature and the Social Sciences: Examples From the Electricity and Waste Sectors.Mikael Klintman - unknown
    The book has two interrelated objectives. One objective is meta-theoretical and concerns the exploration of theoretical debates connected to issues of studying society and environmental problems; another objective is empirical/analytical, referring to the analysis of "green" public participation in the electricity and waste sectors in Sweden, and partly in the Netherlands as well as the UK. The metatheoretical part draws the conclusion that the ontology of critical realism, combined with a problem-subjectivist tenet, is a particularly fruitful basis for the social (...)
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  • The Pen, the Dress, and the Coat: A Confusion in Goodness.Miles Tucker - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1911-1922.
    Conditionalists say that the value something has as an end—its final value—may be conditional on its extrinsic features. They support this claim by appealing to examples: Kagan points to Abraham Lincoln’s pen, Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen to Lady Diana’s dress, and Korsgaard to a mink coat. They contend that these things may have final value in virtue of their historical or societal roles. These three examples have become familiar: many now merely mention them to establish the conditionalist position. But the widespread (...)
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  • Reply to Shafer-Landau, Mcpherson, and Dancy. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):463-474.
    Reply to Shafer-Landau, Mcpherson, and Dancy Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9659-0 Authors Mark Schroeder, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  • Mind-Body Meets Metaethics: A Moral Concept Strategy.Helen Yetter-Chappell & Richard Yetter Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):865-878.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...)
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  • Sensibility Theory and Conservative Complancency.Peter W. Ross & Dale Turner - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):544–555.
    In Ruling Passions, Simon Blackburn contends that we should reject sensibility theory because it serves to support a conservative complacency. Blackburn's strategy is attractive in that it seeks to win this metaethical dispute – which ultimately stems from a deep disagreement over antireductionism – on the basis of an uncontroversial normative consideration. Therefore, Blackburn seems to offer an easy solution to an apparently intractable debate. We will show, however, that Blackburn's argument against sensibility theory does not succeed; it is no (...)
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  • Methods of Ethics and the Descent of Man: Darwin and Sidgwick on Ethics and Evolution.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):361-378.
    Darwin’s treatment of morality in The Descent of Man has generated a wide variety of responses among moral philosophers. Among these is the dismissal of evolution as irrelevant to ethics by Darwin’s contemporary Henry Sidgwick; the last, and arguably the greatest, of the Nineteenth Century British Utilitarians. This paper offers a re-examination of Sidgwick’s response to evolutionary considerations as irrelevant to ethics and the absence of any engagement with Darwin’s work in Sidgwick’s main ethical treatise, The Methods of Ethics . (...)
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  • A Deflationary Metaphysics of Morality.Fritz J. McDonald - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (3):285-298.
    The metaphysical dispute between moral realists and antirealists is cast in terms of properties: the realist holds that moral properties exist, the antirealist denies this claim. There is a longstanding philosophical dispute over the nature of properties, and the obscurity of properties may make the realist/antirealist dispute even more obscure. In the spirit of deflationary theories of truth, we can turn to a deflationary theory of properties in order to clarify this issue. One might reasonably worry that such an account (...)
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  • The End‐Relational Theory of ‘Ought’ and the Weight of Reasons.Daan Evers - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):405-417.
    Stephen Finlay analyses ‘ought’ in terms of probability. According to him, normative ‘ought's are statements about the likelihood that an act will realize some (contextually supplied) end. I raise a problem for this theory. It concerns the relation between ‘ought’ and the balance of reasons. ‘A ought to Φ’ seems to entail that the balance of reasons favours that A Φ-es, and vice versa. Given Finlay's semantics for ‘ought’, it also makes sense to think of reasons and their weight in (...)
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