The time marked by the clock hands, the so-called “objective time,” is deeply different from the one perceived by the individual. Starting from this hypothesis, directly connected to the subjective modality of “living” the time and defined as time perspective, we will try to understand how much it affects the various domains of people's lives, attitudes, and experiences. Therefore, the research investigates whether all our decisions can be influenced by one or more time perspectives beyond our awareness. Last, but not (...) least, we will try to understand if some time perspectives in specific contexts are more functional and adaptive than others. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold out hope that some final condition on knowledge will allow us to overcome the limitations of the classic "justified true belief" analysis. The most popular intuitive glosses on this condition frame it as an absence of epistemic coincidence. In this paper, I lay the groundwork for an explanationist account of epistemic coincidence—one according to which, roughly, beliefs are non-coincidentally true if and only if they bear the right sort of explanatory relation to the truth. The paper contains (...) both positive arguments for explanationism and negative arguments against its competitors: views that understand coincidence in terms of causal, modal, and/or counterfactual relations. But the relationship between these elements is tighter than typical. I aim to show not only that explanationism is independently plausible, and superior to its competitors, but also that it helps make sense of both the appeal and failings of those competitors. (shrink)
This chapter explores the relationship between ethical judgement writ large (as opposed to merely moral judgement) and motivation. We discuss arguments for and against views on which ethical judgement entails motivation, either alone or under conditions of rationality or normalcy, either at the individual or community level.
Susan Wolf objects to the Real Self View (RSV) of moral responsibility that it is insufficient, that even if one’s actions are expressions of one’s deepest or “real” self, one might still not be morally responsible for one’s actions. As a counterexample to the RSV, Wolf offers the case of JoJo, the son of a dictator, who endorses his father’s (evil) values, but who is insane and is thus not responsible for his actions. Wolf’s data for this conclusion derives from (...) what she takes to be our “pretheoretic intuitions” about JoJo. As it turns out, though, experimental data on actual pretheoretic intuitions does not seem to support Wolf’s claim. In this paper, we present such data and argue that, at least with respect to this particular objection, the RSV can survive Wolf’s attack intact. (shrink)
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 (...) the comfortable umbrella of perceptual or, more broadly, empirical knowledge. The good news on this front is that various combinations of metaethical positions and theories of perception arguably have the potential to vindicate moral perception. The bad news, I’ll argue, is that moral perception would be dependent for its epistemic merit on background knowledge of bridge principles linking moral and non-moral properties. Thus, in order to defend a purely perceptual moral epistemology, one would have to argue that knowledge of those principles is likewise perceptual. I further argue it is not. (shrink)
Barry Maguire argues that there are no reasons for affective attitudes. ‘There is no reason for your incredulous reaction to’ this thesis, he claims. In this paper, I argue that we have no reason to accept his thesis. I first examine Maguire's purported differences between reasons for action and so-called reasons for affective attitudes. In each case, I argue that the differences are exaggerated and that to the extent they obtain, they are best explained by differences between actions and affective (...) attitudes, not between kinds of normative support. In closing, I argue that even if Maguire were correct, the extent of the threat to one of his central targets—so-called ‘buck-passing’ views—would remain unclear. (shrink)
Many believe that employment can be wrongfully exploitative, even if it is consensual and mutually beneficial. At the same time, it may seem third parties should not do anything to preclude or eliminate such arrangements, given these same considerations of consent and benefit. I argue that there are perfectly sensible, intuitive ethical positions that vindicate this ‘Reasonable View’. The view requires such defense because the literature often suggests that there is no theoretical space for it. I respond to arguments for (...) the clearest symptom of this obscuration: the so-called nonworseness claim that a consensual, mutually beneficial transaction cannot be ‘morally worse’ than its absence. In addition to making space for the Reasonable View, this serves my dialectical goal of encouraging distinct attention to first- and third-party obligations. (shrink)
Presentation and discussion of two new experimental studies surveying intuitions about cases of moral ignorance due to childhood deprivation. Discussion of resulting asymmetry between negative and positive cases and proposal of speculative hypothesis to explain results, The Difficulty Hypothesis.
A summary of the existing literature related to moral distress (MD) and the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) reveals a high-tech, high-pressure environment in which effective teamwork can be compromised by MD arising from different situations related to: consent for treatment, futile care, end-of-life decision making, formal decision-making structures, training and experience by discipline, individual values and attitudes, and power and authority issues. Attempts to resolve MD in PICUs have included the use of administrative tools such as shift worksheets, the (...) implementation of continuing education, and encouragement to report. The literature does not yet show these approaches to be effective in the resolution of MD. The need to acknowledge MD among PICU teams is discussed and an argument made that, to facilitate understanding among team members, practice stories need to be shared. (shrink)
Given a traditional intuitionist moral epistemology, it is notoriously difficult for moral realists to explain the reliability of our moral beliefs. This has led some to go looking for an alternative to intuitionism. Perception is an obvious contender. I previously argued that this is a dead end, that all moral perception is dependent on a priori moral knowledge. This suggests that perceptualism merely moves the bump in the rug where the reliability challenge is concerned. Preston Werner responds that my account (...) rests on an overly intellectualized model of perception. In this paper, I argue that though Werner may well be correct, my arguments, properly extended, still suggest that perceptualism leaves realists in no better position than intuitionism when it comes to the reliability challenge. (shrink)
According to the Good True Self (GTS) theory, if an action is deemed good, its psychological source is typically viewed as more reflective of its agent’s true self, of who the agent really is ‘deep down inside’; if the action is deemed bad, its psychological source is typically viewed as more external to its agent’s true self. In previous work, we discovered a related asymmetry in judgments of blame- and praiseworthiness with respect to the mitigating effect of moral ignorance via (...) childhood deprivation. Inspired by work motivating the GTS theory, we ran a new study to discover whether our asymmetry likewise reflected judgments about the true self. It did. However, it is unclear whether our results fit with the ‘good’ part of the GTS theory: some of our and others’ results suggest that, in certain contexts, wrong actions are taken to be more expressive of agents’ true selves than right ones. In this paper, we propose that our and others’ data can be explained by the hypothesis that we are inclined to judge as the GTS theory predicts when there is a readily available external explanation for an agent’s action. In short, we give people the benefit of the doubt. (shrink)
Can one explain both the resilience of the status quo and the possibility for resistance from a subordinate position? This paper aims to resolve these seemingly incompatible perspectives. By extending Randall Collins's interaction ritual theory, and synthesizing it with Norbert Wiley's model of the self, this paper suggests how the emotional dynamics between people and within the self can explain social inertia as well as the possibility for resistance and change. Diverging from literature on the sociology of emotions that has (...) been concerned with individual emotional processes, this paper considers the collective level in order to explore how movement action is motivated. The emotional dynamics of subordinate positioning that limit women's options in face-to-face interactions are examined, as are the social processes of developing feminist consciousness and a willingness to participate in resistance work. Pointing toward empirical applications, I conclude by suggesting conditions where resistance is likely. (shrink)
In print, the central objection to expressivism has been the Frege–Geach problem. Yet most cognitivists seem to be motivated by “deeper” worries, ones they have spent comparatively little time pursuing in print. Part of the explanation for this mismatch between motivation and rhetoric is likely that those deeper worries are largely metaphysical. Since expressivism is not a metaphysical view, it can be hard to see how to mount a relevant attack. The strategy in this chapter is to introduce claims about (...) thought and language, rather than metaphysics, that represent common intuitions about normative objectivity. It then argues that popular forms of expressivism cannot accommodate these claims if they are to solve the negation problem—an aspect of Frege–Geach. If successful, this shows that expressivism really does have a problem accommodating normative objectivity. But, significantly, it does so without requiring any assumptions about what expressivist metaphysics look like. (shrink)
There is currently a stalemate over the correct approach to legal liability. To take a prominent example, it remains a point of contention whether land owners should be held liable for injuries to trespassers. Many of those who insist that land owners should be held liable for injuries to trespassers maintain this for purely economic or pragmatic reasons. In contrast, those on the other side frequently defend their view on the grounds that, in such trespass cases, owners are not morally (...) responsible for the injuries. We maintain that the best way forward for all parties in this debate is to recognize the existence of “morally responsible liability ”—of cases where owners qua owners are morally responsible for damages caused by their property. Once this is recognized, the debate can be framed in terms of whether there are economic or pragmatic reasons for legal liability to diverge from morally responsible liability. Unfortunately, there is no good account of morally responsible liability in the literature. Taking lessons from the failings of the few extant accounts, we draw on the work of A. M. Honoré and Jeremy Waldron to develop an account of our own. We argue that owners are morally responsible for damages caused by their property when and because their taking ownership of something leads to increased risk to others. We explain how and why such increases in risk come about, and how our account captures our intuitions concerning various cases, including those concerning injuries to trespassers. (shrink)
In “Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality,” Nicholas Southwood proposes that rational requirements are best understood as demands of one’s “first-personal standpoint.” Southwood argues that this view can “explain the normativity or reason-giving force” of rationality by showing that they “are the kinds of thing that are, by their very nature, normative.” We argue that the proposal fails on three counts: First, we explain why demands of one’s first-personal standpoint cannot be both reason-giving and resemble requirements of rationality. Second, the proposal (...) runs headlong into the now familiar “bootstrapping” objection that helped illuminate the need to vindicate the normativity of rationality in the first place. Lastly, even if Southwood is right—the demands of rationality just are the demands or our first-personal standpoints—the explanation as to why our standpoints generate reasons will entail that we sometimes have no reason at all to be rational. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that normative properties supervene on natural properties. Non-naturalists face a distinctive challenge to explain this relation. Stephanie Leary argues that non-naturalists can meet this explanatory demand by positing the existence of hybrid normative properties. I argue that this proposal does not meet the supervenience challenge.
There is a common view, dating back at least to Hume, that property rights presuppose scarcity. This paper is a critical examination of that thesis. In addition to questioning the thesis, the paper highlights the need to divorce the debate over this thesis from the debate over Intellectual Property (IP) rights (the area where it is most frequently applied). I begin by laying out the thesis’ major line of defense. In brief, the argument is that (1) property rights are legitimate (...) only when necessary, (2) necessary only to avoid injury resulting from one party’s use or possession of a good over others’, and (3) that such injury is possible only where there is scarcity. While I accept (1) (at least for the sake of argument), I argue that each of three prominent theories of the justification of property rights cast doubt on (2) and (3). As it turns out, at the theoretical level, there are a number of different ways of dealing with this conflict. However, I argue, no matter which theoretical path one takes, it turns out that the practical implications of the relationship between property rights and scarcity have been woefully misconstrued. Finally, I recount an independent argument for the thesis under consideration and argue that, whether or not it is successful against IP, it does not extend as an argument against ownership of non-scarce goods in general. This serves to further highlight the need to distinguish arguments for the thesis under consideration from arguments against IP. (shrink)
In “The possibility of morality,” Phil Brown considers whether moral error theory is best understood as a necessary or contingent thesis. Among other things, Brown contends that the argument from relativity, offered by John Mackie—error theory’s progenitor—supports a stronger modal reading of error theory. His argument is as follows: Mackie’s is an abductive argument that error theory is the best explanation for divergence in moral practices. Since error theory will likewise be the best explanation for similar divergences in possible worlds (...) similar to our own, we may conclude that error theory is true at all such worlds, just as it is in the actual world. I contend that Brown’s argument must fail, as abductive arguments cannot support the modal conclusions he suggests. I then consider why this is the case, concluding that Brown has stumbled upon new and interesting evidence that agglomerating one’s beliefs can be epistemically problematic—an issue associated most famously with Henry Kyburg’s lottery paradox. (shrink)
Current research on choice overload has been mainly conducted with choice options not associated with specific brands. This study investigates whether the presence of brand names in the choice set affects the occurrence of choice overload. Across four studies, we find that when choosing among an overabundance of alternatives, participants express more positive feelings when all the options of the choice set are associated with familiar brands, rather than unfamiliar brands or no brand at all. We also find that choice (...) overload only appears in the absence of brand names, but disappears when all options contain brand names—either familiar or unfamiliar. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
Abortion has become such an indispensable part of contemporary experience that even Christians sometimes find it difficult to oppose. Since taking the life in utero has ceased to be regarded as a grave sin and is not always recognized as an unmitigated evil, those who wish to remain faithful to the Word of God struggle to find ways of speaking against killing of the unborn. Some of them, like Erika Bachiochi, seek to beat modern culture at its own game, (...) by representing Catholic teaching on human sexuality as a “right kind” of feminism. However, in her appeal to secular rationality, foregoing the metaphysical commitments of faith and replacing them with the consequentialist reasoning and data from scientific research, she thereby renders her alternative unviable and un-Christian. In response to this failure, I would like to present some Orthodox Christian considerations pointing toward a more wholesome and consistent way forward. (shrink)