By explicitly addressing moral knowledge from a particularists perspective, this book can engage with an established and vibrant area of moral philosophy whilst making a distinctive and productive contribution to a relatively neglected dimension of it.
Among the characteristic features of depression is a diminishment in or lack of action and motivation. In this paper, I consider a dominant philosophical account which purports to explain this lack of action or motivation. This approach comes in different versions but a common theme is, I argue, an over reliance on psychologistic assumptions about action–explanation and the nature of motivation. As a corrective I consider an alternative view that gives a prominent place to the body in motivation. Central to (...) the experience of depression are changes to how a person is motivated to act and, also as central, are changes to bodily feelings and capacities. I argue that broadly characterizing motivation in terms of bodily capacities can, in particular, provide a more compelling account of depressive motivational pathology. (shrink)
A standard interpretation of Hume’s naturalism is that it paved the way for a scientistic and ‘disenchanted’ conception of the world. My aim in this paper is to show that this is a restrictive reading of Hume, and it obscures a different and profitable interpretation of what Humean naturalism amounts to. The standard interpretation implies that Hume’s ‘science of human nature’ was a reductive investigation into our psychology. But, as Hume explains, the subject matter of this science is not restricted (...) to introspectively accessible mental content and incorporates our social nature and interpersonal experience. Illuminating the science of human nature has implications for how we understand what Hume means by ‘experience’ and thus how we understand the context of his epistemological investigations. I examine these in turn and argue overall that Hume’s naturalism and his science of man do not simply anticipate a disenchanted conception of the world. (shrink)
Hume's account of belief is understood to be inspired by allegedly incompatible motivations, one descriptive and expressing Hume's naturalism, the other normative and expressing Hume's epistemological aims. This understanding assumes a particular way in which these elements are distinct: an assumption that I dispute. I suggest that the explanatory-naturalistic aspects of Hume's account of belief are not incompatible with the normative-epistemological aspects. Rather, at least for some central cases of belief formation that Hume discusses at length, S's coming to believe (...) thatpcan be explained in a way that vindicates S's belief thatp. (shrink)
According to the most detailed articulation and defence of moral particularism, it is a metaphysical doctrine about the nature of reasons. This paper addresses aspects of particularist epistemology. In rejecting the existence and efficacy of principles in moral thinking and reasoning particularists typically appeal to a theory of moral knowledge which operates with a ‘perceptual’ metaphor. This is problematic. Holism about valence can give rise to a moral epistemology that is a metaethical variety of atomistic empiricism. To avoid what could (...) be called the Myth of the Moral Given, particularism has made use of a judgement-centred account of moral epistemology. This paper critically examines that account with reference to a proposed analogy between our moral knowledge and our knowledge of similarities. (shrink)
MacIntyre shares with others, such as John McDowell, a broad commitment in moral epistemology to the centrality of tradition and both regard forms of enculturation as conditions of moral knowledge. Although MacIntyre is critical of the thought that moral reasons are available only to those whose experience of the world is conceptually articulated, he is sympathetic to the idea that the development of sub jectivity involves the capacity to appreciate external moral demands. This paper critically examines some aspects of MacIntyre’s (...) account of how knowledge is related to tradition, and suggests ways in which the formation of moral sub jectivity involves the ability to experience the world. (shrink)
Book review of Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s The Roots of Morality Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9206-2 Authors Benedict Smith, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759.