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Russ Shafer-Landau (2003). Moral Realism: A Defence.

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  1.  56
    A Dilemma for Non‐Analytic Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    In recent years, an impressive research program has developed around non-analytic reductions of the normative. Nevertheless, non-analytic naturalists face a damning dilemma: either they need to give the same reductive analysis for epistemic and practical reasons, or they can give a different analyses by treating epistemic and practical reasons as a species of the larger genus, reasonhood. Since, for example, a desire-based account of epistemic reasons is implausible, the reductionist must opt for the latter. Yet, if the desire-based account of (...)
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  2.  33
    Rethinking Right: Moral Epistemology in Management Research.Tae Wan Kim & Thomas Donaldson - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 148 (1):5-20.
    Most management researchers pause at the threshold of objective right and wrong. Their hesitation is understandable. Values imply a “subjective,” personal dimension, one that can invite religious and moral interference in research. The dominant epistemological camps of positivism and subjectivism in management stumble over the notion of moral objectivity. Empirical research can study values in human behavior, but hard-headed scientists should not assume that one value can be objectively better than another. In this article, we invite management researchers to rethink (...)
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  3.  37
    A Challenge for Humean Externalism.Steven Swartzer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):23-44.
    Humean externalism is the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are “external” to an agent’s motivationally-inert moral judgments. A standard argument in favor of Humean externalism appeals to the possibility of amoral or morally cynical agents—agents for whom moral considerations gain no motivational traction. The possibility of such agents seems to provide evidence for both the claim that moral judgments are themselves motivationally inert, and the claim that moral motivation has its source in desires (...)
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  4.  90
    Semantic Normativity and Semantic Causality.Lei Zhong - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):626-645.
    Semantic normativism, which is the view that semantic properties/concepts are some kind of normative properties/concepts, has become increasingly influential in contemporary meta-semantics. In this paper, I aim to argue that semantic normativism has difficulty accommodating the causal efficacy of semantic properties. In specific, I raise an exclusion problem for semantic normativism, inspired by the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. Moreover, I attempt to show that the exclusion problem for semantic normativism is peculiarly troublesome: while we can solve mental-physical (...)
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  5.  28
    Probabilistic Promotion Revisited.Jeff Behrends & Joshua DiPaolo - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1735-1754.
    Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...)
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  6.  4
    Varieties of Objectivity: Reply to De Mesel.Mario Brandhorst - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (4).
    In a previous paper, I argued that the later Wittgenstein did not endorse a realist account of ethics, where a realist account is understood to involve a claim to truth as well as objectivity. In this paper, I respond to a number of critical questions that Benjamin De Mesel raises about that interpretation. I agree with him that just as there are uses for expressions such as “truth”, “fact” and “reality” in ethics, there are uses for expressions such as “objectivity” (...)
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  7.  48
    Revisionist Responses to the Amoralism Objection: A Reply to Julia Markovits.Christopher Cowie - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):711-723.
    Some subjectivist views of practical reasons entail that some people, in some cases, lack sufficient reasons to act as morality requires of them. This is often thought to form the basis of an objection to these subjectivist views: ‘the amoralism objection’. This objection has been developed at length by Julia Markovits in her recent book Moral Reason. But Markovits—alongside many other proponents of this objection—does not explicitly consider that her objection is premised on a claim that her opponents deny on (...)
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  8.  67
    Causal Impotence and Evolutionary Influence: Epistemological Challenges for Non-Naturalism.Daniel Crow - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):379-395.
    Two epistemological critiques of non-naturalism are not always carefully distinguished. According to the Causal Objection, the fact that moral properties cannot cause our moral beliefs implies that it would be a coincidence if many of them were true. According to the Evolutionary Objection, the fact that evolutionary pressures have influenced our moral beliefs implies a similar coincidence. After distinguishing these epistemological critiques, I provide an extensive defense of the Causal Objection that also strengthens the Evolutionary Objection. In particular, I formulate (...)
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  9. Evolutionary Debunking of Morality: Epistemological or Metaphysical?Ramon Das - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):417-435.
    It is widely supposed that evolutionary debunking arguments against morality constitute a type of epistemological objection to our moral beliefs. In particular, the debunking force of such arguments is not supposed to depend on the metaphysical claim that moral facts do not exist. In this paper I argue that this standard epistemological construal of EDAs is highly misleading, if not mistaken. Specifically, I argue that the most widely discussed EDAs all make key and controversial metaphysical claims about the nature of (...)
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  10. A Moral Argument Against Moral Realism.Melis Erdur - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):591-602.
    If what is morally right or wrong were ultimately a function of our opinions, then even such reprehensible actions as genocide and slavery would be morally right, had we approved of them. Many moral philosophers find this conclusion objectionably permissive, and to avoid it they posit a moral reality that exists independently of what anyone thinks. The notion of an independent moral reality has been subjected to meticulous metaphysical, epistemological and semantic criticism, but it is hardly ever examined from a (...)
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  11.  27
    Self-Help, Moral Philosophy, and the Moral Present.Nora Hämäläinen - 2016 - Human Studies 39 (2):289-306.
    In this paper I argue that the lack of interest, among analytic moral philosophers, in the contingencies of our moral present, produces an impoverished moral philosophy, unable to address the moral problems and quandaries of ordinary people. What is needed to remedy this is a broadening of the scope of the moral philosopher’s thought to include a rich attention to moral phenomena of the present. One such phenomenon, attended to by sociologists and critical journalists over the past few decades, is (...)
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  12.  65
    Robust Moral Realism: An Excellent Religion.David Killoren - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (3):223-237.
    According to robust moral realism, there exist objective, non-natural moral facts. Moral facts of this sort do not fit easily into the world as illuminated by natural science. Further, if such facts exist at all, it is hard to see how we could know of their existence by any familiar means. Yet robust realists are not moral skeptics; they believe that we do know the moral facts. Thus robust moral realism comes with a number of hard-to-defend ontological and epistemological commitments. (...)
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  13.  30
    Mill's Antirealism.Christopher Macleod - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):261-279.
    One of Mill's primary targets, throughout his work, is intuitionism. In this paper, I distinguish two strands of intuitionism, against which Mill offers separate arguments. The first strand, a priorism, makes an epistemic claim about how we come to know norms. The second strand, ‘first principle pluralism’, makes a structural claim about how many fundamental norms there are. In this paper, I suggest that one natural reading of Mill's argument against first principle pluralism is incompatible with the naturalism that drives (...)
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  14.  49
    Why I’M Still a Proportionalist.Travis Rieder - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):251-270.
    Mark Schroeder has, rather famously, defended a powerful Humean Theory of Reasons. In doing so, he abandons what many take to be the default Humean view of weighting reasons—namely, proportionalism. On Schroeder’s view, the pressure that Humeans feel to adopt proportionalism is illusory, and proportionalism is unable to make sense of the fact that the weight of reasons is a normative matter. He thus offers his own ‘Recursive View’, which directly explains how it is that the weight of reasons is (...)
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  15. Reasons, Inescapability and Persuasion.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2823-2844.
    This paper outlines a new metasemantic theory of moral reason statements, focused on explaining how the reasons thus stated can be inescapable. The motivation for the theory is in part that it can explain this and other phenomena concerning moral reasons. The account also suggests a general recipe for explanations of conceptual features of moral reason statements. (Published with Open Access.).
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  16.  33
    Can the Canberrans’ Supervenience Argument Refute Shapeless Moral Particularism?Peter Tsu - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):545-560.
    Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, and Philip Pettit contend in their 2000 paper that an argument from supervenience deals a fatal blow to shapeless moral particularism, the view that the moral is shapeless with respect to the natural. A decade has passed since the Canberrans advanced their highly influential supervenience argument. Yet, there has not been any compelling counter-argument against it, as far as I can see. My aim in this paper is to fill in this void and defend SMP against (...)
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  17.  81
    Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  18.  18
    Correspondence to Reality in Ethics.Mario Brandhorst - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (3):227-250.
    This paper examines the view of ethical language that Wittgenstein took in later years. It argues that according to this view, ethics falls into place as a part of our natural history, while every sense of the mystical or supernatural that once surrounded it is irrevocably lost. Moreover, Wittgenstein argues that ethical language does not correspond to reality “in the way” in which a physical theory does. I propose an interpretation of this claim that shows how it sets his view (...)
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  19. Clarifying Ethical Intuitionism.Robert Cowan - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):1097-1116.
    In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Ethical Intuitionism, whose core claim is that normal ethical agents can and do have non-inferentially justified first-order ethical beliefs. Although this is the standard formulation, there are two senses in which it is importantly incomplete. Firstly, ethical intuitionism claims that there are non-inferentially justified ethical beliefs, but there is a worrying lack of consensus in the ethical literature as to what non-inferentially justified belief is. Secondly, it has been overlooked (...)
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  20. Perceptual Intuitionism.Robert Cowan - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):164-193.
    In the recent metaethical literature there has been significant interest in the prospects for what I am denoting ‘Perceptual Intuitionism’: the view that normal ethical agents can and do have non-inferential justification for first-order ethical beliefs by having ethical perceptual experiences, e.g., Cullison 2010, McBrayer 2010, Vayrynen 2008. If true, it promises to constitute an independent a posteriori intuitionist epistemology, providing an alternative to intuitionist accounts which posit a priori intuition and/or emotion as sources of non-inferentially justified ethical beliefs. As (...)
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  21.  24
    Conservatism in Metaethics: A Case Study.Christopher Cowie - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):605-619.
    Metaethicists typically develop and assess their theories—in part—on the basis of the consistency of those theories with “ordinary” first-order normative judgment. They are, in this sense, “methodologically conservative.” This article shows that this methodologically conservative approach obstructs a proper assessment of the debate between internalists and externalists. Specifically, it obstructs one of the most promising readings of internalism. This is a reading—owed to Bernard Williams—in which internalism is part of a practically and politically motivated revision of the assessment of action. (...)
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  22.  74
    The Motivation Argument and Motivational Internalism.Daniel Eggers - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2445-2467.
    Much in contemporary metaethics revolves around the two positions known as ‘motivational internalism’ and the ‘Humean theory of motivation’. The importance of these positions is mostly due to their role in what is considered to be the most powerful argument for metaethical non-cognitivism: the so-called ‘motivation argument’. In my paper, I want to argue that widely accepted renditions of the MA, such as the rendition recently forwarded by Russ Shafer-Landau, are flawed in two senses. First, they fail to sufficiently distinguish (...)
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  23. Street on Evolution and the Normativity of Epistemic Reasons.Daan Evers - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3663-3676.
    Sharon Street argues that realism about epistemic normativity is false. Realists believe there are truths about epistemic reasons that hold independently of the agent’s attitudes. Street argues by dilemma. Either the realist accepts a certain account of the nature of belief, or she does not. If she does, then she cannot consistently accept realism. If she does not, then she has no scientifically credible explanation of the fact that our epistemic behaviours or beliefs about epistemic reasons align with independent normative (...)
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  24.  98
    A Hard Look at Moral Perception.David Faraci - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2055-2072.
    This paper concerns what I take to be the primary epistemological motivation for defending moral perception. Offering a plausible account of how we gain moral knowledge is one of the central challenges of metaethics. It seems moral perception might help us meet this challenge. The possibility that we know about the instantiation of moral properties in something like the way we know that there is a bus passing in front of us raises the alluring prospect of subsuming moral epistemology under (...)
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  25.  60
    Creating Truths by Winning Arguments: The Problem of Methodological Artifacts in Philosophy.Abraham Graber - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):487-503.
    In this paper I will argue that there is a bi-directional relationship between philosophy and meaning such that doing philosophy can change the meaning of terms. A rhetorically powerful work of philosophy that garners widespread interest has the potential to change how people use a predicate. This gives rise to three concerns. First, one’s conclusion can become right in virtue of one doing a particularly good job arguing for it. Second, it may be implausible to take philosophy to be a (...)
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  26.  56
    Towards a Cognitive Scientific Vindication of Moral Realism: The Semantic Argument.Abraham D. Graber - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):1059-1069.
    In a methodological milieu characterized by efforts to bring the methods of philosophy closer to the methods of the sciences, one can find, with increasing regularity, meta-ethical arguments relying on scientific theory or data. The received view appears to be that, not only is it implausible to think that a scientific vindication of a non-mentalist moral semantics will be forthcoming but that evidence from a variety of sciences threatens to undermine non-mentalist views. My aim is to push back against this (...)
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  27.  85
    After Moral Error Theory, After Moral Realism.Stephen Ingram - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):227-248.
    Moral abolitionists recommend that we get rid of moral discourse and moral judgement. At first glance this seems repugnant, but abolitionists think that we have overestimated the practical value of our moral framework and that eliminating it would be in our interests. I argue that abolitionism has a surprising amount going for it. Traditionally, abolitionism has been treated as an option available to moral error theorists. Error theorists say that moral discourse and judgement are committed to the existence of moral (...)
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  28.  54
    Are Moral Properties Impossible?Wouter F. Kalf - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1869-1887.
    Perhaps the actual world does not contain moral properties. But might moral properties be impossible because no world, possible or actual, contains them? Two metaethical theories can be argued to entail just that conclusion; viz., emotivism and error theory. This paper works towards the strongest formulation of the emotivist argument for the impossibility of moral properties, but ultimately rejects it. It then uses the reason why the emotivist argument fails to argue that error-theoretic arguments for the impossibility of moral properties (...)
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  29. What is at Stake in Debates Among Normative Realists?Tristram McPherson - 2015 - Noûs 49 (1):123-146.
    One class of central debates between normative realists appears to concern whether we should be naturalists or reductionists about the normative. However, metaethical discussion of naturalism and reduction is often inconsistent, murky, or uninformative. This can make it hard to see why commitments relative to these metaphysical categories should matter to normative realists. This paper aims to clarify the nature of these categories, and their significance in debates between normative realists. I develop and defend what I call the joint-carving taxonomy, (...)
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  30. Climate Change Inaction and Moral Nihilism.Thomas Pölzler - 2015 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (2):202-214.
    The effects of anthropogenic climate change may be devastating. Nevertheless, most people do not seem to be seriously concerned. We consume as much as we always did, drive as much as we always did, eat as much meat as we always did. What can we do to overcome this collective apathy? In order to be able to develop effective measures, we must first get clear about the causes of climate change inaction. In this paper I ask whether moral nihilism is (...)
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  31.  45
    Normatively Enriched Moral Meta‐Semantics.Michael Rubin - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):386-410.
    In order to defend the Cornell variety of naturalistic moral realism from Horgan and Timmons’ Moral Twin Earth objection, several philosophers have proposed what I call Normatively Enriched Moral Meta-Semantics. According to NEMMS, the natural properties that serve as the contents of moral predicates are fixed by non- moral normative facts. In this paper, I elucidate two versions of NEMMS: one proposed by David Brink, and the other proposed by Mark van Roojen. I show what these meta-semantics have in common, (...)
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  32.  51
    The Promise and Perils of Hybrid Moral Semantics for Naturalistic Moral Realism.Michael Rubin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):691-710.
    In recent years, several philosophers have recommended to moral realists that they adopt a hybrid cognitivist–expressivist moral semantics. Adopting a hybrid semantics enables the realist to account for the action-guiding character of moral discourse, and to account for the possibility of moral (dis)agreement between speakers whose moral sentences express different cognitive contents. I argue that realists should resist the temptation to embrace a hybrid moral semantics. In granting that moral judgments are partly constituted by conative attitudes, the realist concedes too (...)
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  33.  11
    Being Good and Feeling Well.James Sias - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (4):785-804.
  34.  85
    Nietzschean Constructivism: Ethics and Metaethics for All and None.Alex Silk - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (3):244-280.
    This paper develops an interpretation of Nietzsche’s ethics and metaethics that reconciles his apparent antirealism with his engagement in normative discourse. Interpreting Nietzsche as a metaethical constructivist—as holding, to a first approximation, that evaluative facts are grounded purely in facts about the evaluative attitudes of the creatures to whom they apply—reconciles his vehement declarations that nothing is valuable in itself with his passionate expressions of a particular evaluative perspective and injunctions for the free spirits to create new values. Drawing on (...)
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  35.  41
    Expressivism and the Normativity of Attitudes.Teemu Toppinen - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):233-255.
    Many philosophers believe that judgments about propositional attitudes, or about which mental states are expressed by which sentences, are normative judgments. If this is so, then metanormative expressivism must be given expressivist treatment. This might seem to make expressivism self-defeating or worrisomely circular, or to frustrate the explanatory ambitions central to the view. I argue that recent objections along these lines to giving an expressivist account of expressivism are not successful. I shall also suggest that in order to deal with (...)
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  36.  40
    Objective Morality After Darwin ?Olli-Pekka Vainio - 2015 - Heythrop Journal 56 (4):584-592.
  37. Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure and potential of evolutionary debunking arguments.
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  38. Evilism, Moral Rationalism, and Reasons Internalism.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (1):3-24.
    I show that the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and essentially omnimalevolent being is impossible given only two metaethical assumptions (viz., moral rationalism and reasons internalism). I then argue (pace Stephen Law) that such an impossibility undercuts Law’s (Relig Stud 46(3):353–373, 2010) evil god challenge.
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  39.  55
    Starting Points: Kantian Constructivism Reassessed.Carla Bagnoli - 2014 - Ratio Juris 27 (3):311-329.
    G. A. Cohen and J. Raz object that Constructivism is incoherent because it crucially deploys unconstructed elements in the structure of justification. This paper offers a response on behalf of constructivism, by reassessing the role of such unconstructed elements. First, it argues that a shared conception of rational agency works as a starting point for the justification, but it does not play a foundational role. Second, it accounts for the unconstructed norms that constrains the activity of construction as constitutive norms. (...)
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  40. Moral Intuitionism and Disagreement.Brian Besong - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2767-2789.
    According to moral intuitionism, at least some moral seeming states are justification-conferring. The primary defense of this view currently comes from advocates of the standard account, who take the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming to be determined by its phenomenological credentials alone. However, the standard account is vulnerable to a problem. In brief, the standard account implies that moral knowledge is seriously undermined by those commonplace moral disagreements in which both agents have equally good phenomenological credentials supporting their disputed (...)
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  41. Reflective Equilibrium Without Intuitions?Georg Brun - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):237-252.
    In moral epistemology, the method of reflective equilibrium is often characterized in terms of intuitions or understood as a method for justifying intuitions. An analysis of reflective equilibrium and current theories of moral intuitions reveals that this picture is problematic. Reflective equilibrium cannot be adequately characterized in terms of intuitions. Although the method presupposes that we have initially credible commitments, it does not presuppose that they are intuitions. Nonetheless, intuitions can enter the process of developing a reflective equilibrium and, if (...)
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  42.  68
    A New Explanatory Challenge for Nonnaturalists.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (4):661-679.
    According to some contemporary nonnaturalists about normativity , normative facts exist in an ontologically non-committing sense. These nonnaturalists face an explanatory burden. They must explain their claim that normative facts exist in such a sense. I identify criteria for an adequate explanation, and extract five distinct candidate explanations from the writings of these authors . I assess each. None is both informative and recognizable as a version of contemporary nonnaturalism. In light of this, I assess the best options for proponents (...)
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  43. The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  44.  21
    On Sterba’s Argument From Rationality to Morality.Stephen Darwall - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (3):243-252.
    James Sterba argues for morality as a principled compromise between self-regarding and other-regarding reasons and that either egoists or altruists, who always give overriding weight to self-regarding and other-reasons, respectively, can be shown to beg the question against morality. He concludes that moral conduct is “rationally required.” Sterba’s dialectic assumes that both egoists and altruists accept that both self-regarding and other-regarding considerations are genuine pro tanto reasons, but then hold that their respective reasons always outweigh. Against this, I argue that (...)
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  45. Can Moral Principles Explain Supervenience?Aaron Elliott - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (4):629-659.
    The distribution of moral properties supervenes on the distribution of natural properties, and this provides a puzzle for non-naturalism: what could explain supervenience if moral properties are not natural properties? Enoch claims moral principles explain supervenience. But this solution is incomplete without an account of what moral principles and properties are, and what relation holds between them. This paper begins to develop such an account by exploring analogous issues for Realism about Laws of nature in philosophy of science. Appealing to (...)
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  46.  81
    Elaborating Expressivism: Moral Judgments, Desires and Motivation.John Eriksson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):253-267.
    According to expressivism, moral judgments are desire-like states of mind. It is often argued that this view is made implausible because it isn’t consistent with the conceivability of amoralists, i.e., agents who make moral judgments yet lack motivation. In response, expressivists can invoke the distinction between dispositional and occurrent desires. Strandberg (Am Philos Quart 49:81–91, 2012) has recently argued that this distinction does not save expressivism. Indeed, it can be used to argue that expressivism is false. In this paper I (...)
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  47. Moral Contextualism and the Problem of Triviality.Daan Evers - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):285-297.
    Moral contextualism is the view that claims like ‘A ought to X’ are implicitly relative to some (contextually variable) standard. This leads to a problem: what are fundamental moral claims like ‘You ought to maximize happiness’ relative to? If this claim is relative to a utilitarian standard, then its truth conditions are trivial: ‘Relative to utilitarianism, you ought to maximize happiness’. But it certainly doesn’t seem trivial that you ought to maximize happiness (utilitarianism is a highly controversial position). Some people (...)
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  48.  44
    The Pre-Theoreticality of Moral Intuitions.Christopher B. Kulp - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3759-3778.
    Moral intuitionism, once an apparently moribund metaethical position, has seen a resurgence of interest of late. Robert Audi, a leading moral intuitionist, has argued that in order for a moral belief to qualify as intuitional, it must fulfill four criteria: it must be non-inferential, firmly held, comprehended, and pre-theoretical. This paper centers on the fourth and seemingly most problematic criterion: pre-theoreticality. The paper begins by stipulating the defensibility of the moral cognitivism upon which moral intuitionism turns. Next, the paper develops (...)
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    How to Pull a Metaphysical Rabbit Out of an End-Relational Semantic Hat.N. G. 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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  50.  43
    The Question of Moral Ontology.Daniel Nolan - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):201-221.
    Our ordinary moral practices not only suppose that some people ought to perform some actions, and that some outcomes are morally better or worse than others, but also that there are rights, duties, goodness, and other apparently abstract moral entities. What should we make of these entities, and the talk of these entities? It is not straighforward to account for these entities in other terms. On the other hand, this paper will argue that talk of such entities is not easily (...)
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