Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):137-151 (2019)

Patrick Clipsham
Winona State University
Companions in guilt arguments respond to moral error theory by pointing out that its philosophical rationale mandates the rejection of all categorical normative reasons, including epistemic reasons. A number of philosophers have recently been engaging in a dialogue about the strength of this argumentative strategy and the significance of the criticisms that has been raised against it. In this paper, I identify a specific argument, which I dub the ‘bullet-biting response’ as a crucial element in some recent attacks on the CGA. I assess five objections to the bullet-biting response and conclude that only the fifth poses a significant problem. Specifically, I argue that the proponent of the bullet-biting response is at a dialectical disadvantage in this particular debate. While this disadvantage is not decisive, it has two implications that raise serious concerns for the bullet-biting response.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-09981-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Moral Problem.James Lenman - 1994 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):125-126.
The Myth of Morality.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):760-763.
Nihilism, Nietzsche and the Doppelganger Problem.Charles R. Pigden - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):441-456.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Limits of Self-Effacement: A Reply to Wittwer.Patrick Clipsham - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3617-3636.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Why Companions in Guilt Arguments Won't Work.C. Cowie - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):407-422.
Pain for the Moral Error Theory? A New Companions-in-Guilt Argument.Guy Fletcher - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):474-482.
Rescuing Companions in Guilt Arguments.Richard Rowland - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):161–171.
Manipulation, Moral Responsibility, and Bullet Biting.Alfred R. Mele - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):167-184.
Companions in Guilt Arguments and Moore's Paradox.Michael Campbell - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (2):151-173.
(Probably) Not Companions in Guilt.Sharon Berry - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2285-2308.
Companions in Guilt Arguments and Moore’s Paradox.Michael Campbell - forthcoming - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences.


Added to PP index

Total views
49 ( #233,326 of 2,520,785 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #270,509 of 2,520,785 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes