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James Dreier
Brown University
  1. Meta‐Ethics and the Problem of Creeping Minimalism.James Dreier - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):23–44.
    This is a paper about the problem of realism in meta-ethics (and, I hope, also in other areas, but that hope is so far pretty speculative). But it is not about the problem of whether realism is true. It is about the problem of what realism is. More specifically, it is about the question of what divides meta-ethical realists from irrealists. I start with a potted history of the Good Old Days.
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  2. Internalism and Speaker Relativism.James Dreier - 1990 - Ethics 101 (1):6-26.
    In this article I set out a reason for believing in a form of metaethical relativism. In rough terms, the reason is this: a widely held thesis, internalism, tells us that to accept (sincerely assert, believe, etc.) a moral judgment logically requires having a motivating reason. Since the connection is logical, or conceptual, it must be explained by a theory of what it is to accept a moral claim. I argue that the internalist feature of moral expressions can best be (...)
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  3.  60
    Is There a Supervenience Problem for Robust Moral Realism?Jamie Dreier - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1391-1408.
    The paper describes the problem for robust moral realism of explaining the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral, and examines five objections to the argument: The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because we may owe different obligations to duplicates. If the supervenience thesis is repaired to block, it becomes trivial and easy to explain. Supervenience is a moral doctrine and should get an explanation from within normative ethics rather than metaethics. Supervenience is a conceptual truth and should (...)
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  4. Relativism (and Expressivism) and the Problem of Disagreement.James Dreier - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):79-110.
    Many philosophers, in different areas, are tempted by what variously goes under the name of Contextualism, Speaker Relativism, Indexical Relativism. (I’ll just use Indexical Relativism in this paper.) Thinking of certain problematic expressions as deriving their content from elements of the context of use solves some problems. But it faces some problems of its own, and in this paper I’m interested in one in particular, namely, the problem of disagreement. Two alternative theories, tempting for just the same kinds of expressions (...)
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  5.  5
    Meta‐ethics and The Problem of Creeping Minimalism.James Dreier - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):23-44.
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  6. Practical Conditionals.James Dreier - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 116--133.
     
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  7. Structures of Normative Theories.James Dreier - 1993 - The Monist 76 (1):22-40.
    Normative theorists like to divide normative theories into classes. One special point of focus has been to place utilitarianism into a larger class of theories which do not necessarily share its view about what is alone of impersonal intrinsic value, namely, individual human well-being, but do share another structural feature, roughly its demand that each person seek to maximize the realization of what is of impersonal intrinsic value. The larger class is distinguished from its complement in two apparently different ways. (...)
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  8. Can Reasons Fundamentalism Answer the Normative Question?James Dreier - 2015 - In Gunnar Björnsson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder, John Eriksson & Fredrik Björklund (eds.), Motivational Internalism. Oxford University Press.
  9. Dispositions and Fetishes: Externalist Models of Moral Motivation.James Dreier - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):619-638.
    Internalism says that if an agent judges that it is right for her to φ, then she is motivated to φ. The disagreement between Internalists and Externalists runs deep, and it lingers even in the face of clever intuition pumps. An argument in Michael Smith’s The Moral Problem seeks some leverage against Externalism from a point within normative theory. Smith argues by dilemma: Externalists either fail to explain why motivation tracks moral judgment in a good moral agent or they attribute (...)
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  10. Quasi-Realism and the Problem of Unexplained Coincidence.Jamie Dreier - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (3):269-287.
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  11. Transforming Expressivism.James Dreier - 1999 - Noûs 33 (4):558-572.
    In chapter five of Wise Choices, Apt Feelings Allan Gibbard develops what he calls a ‘normative logic’ intended to solve some problems that face an expressivist theory of norms like his. The first is “the problem of embedding: The analysis applies to simple contexts, in which it is simply asserted or denied that such-and-such is rational. It says nothing about more complex normative assertions.”1 That is the problem with which I will be concerned. Though he doesn’t list it as one (...)
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  12.  45
    Negation for Expressivists: A Collection of Problems with a Suggestion for Their Solution.James Dreier - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 1:217-233.
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  13. Humean Doubts About the Practical Justification of Morality.James Dreier - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 81-100.
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  14. Expressivist Embeddings and Minimalist Truth.James Dreier - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 83 (1):29-51.
    This paper is about Truth Minimalism, Norm Expressivism, and the relation between them. In particular, it is about whether Truth Minimalism can help to solve a problem thought to plague Norm Expressivism. To start with, let me explain what I mean by 'Truth Minimalism' and 'Norm Expressivism.'.
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  15. Another World.James Dreier - 2015 - In Robert Johnson & Michael Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press. pp. 155-171.
    The metaethics and metametaethics of Scanlon's "Reasons Fundamentalism".
     
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  16. The Supervenience Argument Against Moral Realism.James Dreier - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):13-38.
    In 1971, Simon Blackburn worked out an argument against moral realism appealing to the supervenience of the moral realm on the natural realm.1 He has since revised the argument, in part to take account of objections,2 but the basic structure remains intact. While commentators3 seem to agree that the argument is not successful, they have not agreed upon what goes wrong. I believe this is because no attempt has been made to see what happens when Blackburn's argument is addressed to (...)
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  17. Humean Doubts About Categorical Imperatives.James Dreier - 2001 - In Elijah Millgram (ed.), Varieties of Practical Reasoning. MIT Press. pp. 27--48.
  18.  13
    Dispositions and Fetishes: Externalist Models of Moral Motivation.James Dreier - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):619-638.
    Internalism says that if an agent judges that it is right for her to φ, then she is motivated to φ. The disagreement between Internalists and Externalists runs deep, and it lingers even in the face of clever intuition pumps. An argument in Michael Smith's The Moral Problem seeks some leverage against Externalism from a point within normative theory. Smith argues by dilemma: Externalists either fail to explain why motivation tracks moral judgment in a good moral agent or they attribute (...)
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  19. Why Ethical Satisficing Makes Sense and Rational Satisficing Doesn't.James Dreier - 2004 - In Michael Byron (ed.), Satisficing and Maximizing. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  20. Moral Relativism and Moral Nihilism.Jamie Dreier - 2006 - In David Copp (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press.
  21. Rational Preference: Decision Theory as a Theory of Practical Rationality.James Dreier - 1996 - Theory and Decision 40 (3):249-276.
    In general, the technical apparatus of decision theory is well developed. It has loads of theorems, and they can be proved from axioms. Many of the theorems are interesting, and useful both from a philosophical and a practical perspective. But decision theory does not have a well agreed upon interpretation. Its technical terms, in particular, ‘utility’ and ‘preference’ do not have a single clear and uncontroversial meaning. How to interpret these terms depends, of course, on what purposes in pursuit of (...)
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  22. Negation for Expressivists.Jamie Dreier - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 1.
     
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  23. In Defense of Consequentializing.James Dreier - 2011 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
  24. Metaethics and Normative Commitment.James Dreier - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):241-263.
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  25. Lockean and Logical Truth Conditions.J. Dreier - 2004 - Analysis 64 (1):84-91.
    1. In ‘A problem for expressivism’ Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit argue ‘that expressivists do not have a persuasive story to tell about how ethical sentences can express attitudes without reporting them and, in particular, without being true or false’ (1998: 240). Briefly: expressivists say that ethical sentences serve to express non-cognitive attitudes, but that these sentences do not report non-cognitive attitudes. The view that ethical sentences do report non-cognitive attitudes is not Expressivism (and not non-cognitivism), but rather a version (...)
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  26. Was Moore a Moorean?Jamie Dreier - 2006 - In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore. Oxford University Press. pp. 191.
     
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  27.  65
    The Real and the Quasi-Real: Problems of Distinction.Jamie Dreier - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):532-547.
    This paper surveys some ways of distinguishing Quasi-Realism in metaethics from Non-naturalist Realism, including ‘Explanationist’ methods of distinguishing, which characterize the Real by its explanatory role, and Inferentialist methods. Rather than seeking the One True Distinction, the paper adopts an irenic and pragmatist perspective, allowing that different ways of drawing the line are best for different purposes.
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  28. Mackie's Realism.Jamie Dreier - 2010 - In Richard Joyce & Simon Kirchen (eds.), A World Without Values. Springer.
    The chapter argues that we should draw the line between realist and antirealist metaethics according to whether a theory locates the explanation for the special, puzzling features of moral terms and concepts out in the world, with the content of moral thoughts, or inside the head. This taxonomy places Mackie's error theory in the realist category, contrary to the usual scheme. The paper suggests that in looking for the “queerness” of objective value in the metaphysics of moral properties, Mackie makes (...)
     
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  29.  70
    Decision Theory and Morality.James Dreier - 2004 - In Piers Rawling & Al Mele (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 156--181.
    Dreier shows how the formal apparatus of decision theory is connected to some abstract issues in moral theory. He begins by explaining how to think about utility and the advice that decision theory gives us, in particular, decision theory does not assume or insist that all rational agents act in their own self-interest. Next he examines decision theory’s contributions to social contract theory, with emphasis on David Gauthier’s rationalist contractualism. Dreier’s third section considers a reinterpretation of the formal theory that (...)
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  30.  61
    Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory.James Dreier (ed.) - 2006 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory _features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on the most controversial issues in moral theory Questions include: Are moral requirements derived from reason? How demanding is morality? Are virtues the proper starting point for moral theorizing? Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary (...)
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  31.  12
    The Supervenience Argument Against Moral Realism.James Dreier - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):13-38.
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  32.  52
    Accepting Agent Centred Norms: A Problem for Non-Cognitivists and a Suggestion for Solving It.James Dreier - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):409–422.
    Non-cognitivists claim to be able to represent normative judgment, and especially moral judgment, as an expression of a non-cognitive attitude. There is some reason to worry whether their treatment can incorporate agent centred theories, including much of common sense morality. In this paper I investigate the prospects for a non-cognitivist explanation of what is going on when we subscribe to agent centred theories or norms. The first section frames the issue by focusing on a particularly simple and clear agent centred (...)
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  33.  49
    Perspectives on the Normativity of Ethics. [REVIEW]James Dreier - 1994 - Noûs 28 (4):514.
  34.  11
    Disagreeing What to Do: Negation and Completeness in Gibbard’s Norm-Expressivism.Jamie Dreier - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):714-721.
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  35. The Expressivist Circle: Invoking Norms in the Explanation of Normative Judgment. [REVIEW]James Dreier - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):136–143.
    To naturalize normative judgment is to give some account of it, in naturalistic and non-normative terms. Simon Blackburn’s Ruling Passions embraces naturalism, about ethics especially.
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  36.  66
    Disagreeing What to Do: Negation and Completeness in Gibbard’s Norm-Expressivism. [REVIEW]Jamie Dreier - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):714 - 721.
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  37.  21
    Meta-Ethics and Normative Commitment.James Dreier - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):241-263.
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  38. Book Review: The Moral Problem by Michael Smith. [REVIEW]James Dreier - 1996 - Mind 105 (418):363-367.
  39.  55
    Shallow, Deeper, Deep: A Few Thoughts on a Small Piece of Walter Sinnott‐Armstrong's Moral Skepticisms.Jamie Dreier - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (3):197-206.
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  40.  57
    Troubling Developments in Metaethics. [REVIEW]James Dreier - 2002 - Noûs 36 (1):152 - 168.
  41.  77
    Truth and Disagreement in Impassioned Belief.J. Dreier - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):450-459.
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  42. Boundless Good.James Dreier - forthcoming - Ms.
  43.  69
    Critical Study: Timmons, Mark; Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Moral Contextualism. [REVIEW]James Dreier - 2002 - Noûs 36 (1):152–168.
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  44. When Do Goals Explain the Norms That Advance Them?James Dreier - 2010 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 5--153.
     
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  45.  57
    Comments: Gibbard and Moore.Jamie Dreier - 2003 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (Supplement):158-164.
  46.  12
    Meta-Ethics and Normative Commitment.James Dreier - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):241-263.
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  47.  7
    The Expressivist Circle: Invoking Norms in the Explanation of Normative Judgment.James Dreier - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):136-143.
    To naturalize normative judgment is to give some account of it, in naturalistic and non-normative terms. Simon Blackburn’s Ruling Passions embraces naturalism, about ethics especially.
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  48.  33
    Pettit on Preference for Prospects and Properties – Discussion.J. Dreier - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 124 (2):199-219.
  49. Humean Doubts.Jamie Dreier - 2011 - In Xu Xiangdong (ed.), Practical Reason. Zhejiang University Press.
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  50. When Do Goals Explain the Rules That Advance Them?Jamie Dreier - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 5.
     
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