14 found
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  1. Hypocrisy and Moral Authority.Jessica Isserow & Colin Klein - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (2):191-222.
    Hypocrites invite moral opprobrium, and charges of hypocrisy are a significant and widespread feature of our moral lives. Yet it remains unclear what hypocrites have in common, or what is distinctively bad about them. We propose that hypocrites are persons who have undermined their claim to moral authority. Since this self-undermining can occur in a number of ways, our account construes hypocrisy as multiply realizable. As we explain, a person’s moral authority refers to a kind of standing that they occupy (...)
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  2. Evolutionary Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1025-1045.
    Proponents of evolutionary debunking arguments aim to show that certain genealogical explanations of our moral faculties, if true, undermine our claim to moral knowledge. Criticisms of these arguments generally take the debunker’s genealogical explanation for granted. The task of the anti-debunker is thought to be that of reconciling the truth of this hypothesis with moral knowledge. In this paper, I shift the critical focus instead to the debunker’s empirical hypothesis and argue that the skeptical strength of an evolutionary debunking argument (...)
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  3. Moral Worth and Doing the Right Thing by Accident.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):251-264.
    ABSTRACTKantian conceptions of moral worth are thought to enjoy an advantage over their rivals in virtue of accommodating two plausible intuitions—that the praiseworthiness of an action is never ac...
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  4. Moral Worth: Having It Both Ways.Jessica Isserow - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (10):529-556.
    It is commonly recognized that one can act rightly without being praiseworthy for doing so. Those who act rightly from ignoble motives, for instance, do not strike us as fitting targets of moral praise; their actions seem to lack moral worth. Though there is broad agreement that only certain kinds of motives confer moral worth on our actions, there is disagreement as to which ones are up to the task. Many theorists confine themselves to two possibilities: praiseworthy agents are thought (...)
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  5. Doubts about Duty as a Secondary Motive.Jessica Isserow - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):276-298.
    Many follow Kant in thinking that morally worthy actions must be carried out solely from the motive of duty. This outlook faces two challenges: (1) The One Feeling Too Few problem (actions that issue from, say, compassion also seem to have moral worth), and (2) The One Thought Too Many problem (some actions have moral worth precisely because they’re not motivated by duty). These challenges haven’t led Kantians to dispense with the motive of duty. Instead, they have proposed to push (...)
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  6.  42
    Subjunctive Hypocrisy.Jessica Isserow - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.
    It is commonly thought that agents lack the standing to blame in cases where their blame would be hypocritical. Jack for instance, would seem to lack the standing to blame Gerald for being rude to their local barista if he has himself been rude to baristas in the past. Recently, it has been suggested that Jack need not even have displayed any such rudeness in order for his blame to qualify as hypocritical; it would suffice if he too would have (...)
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  7. On having bad persons as friends.Jessica Isserow - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3099-3116.
    Intuitively, one who counts a morally bad person as a friend has gone wrong somewhere. But it is far from obvious where exactly they have gone astray. Perhaps in cultivating a friendship with a bad person, one extends to them certain goods that they do not deserve. Or perhaps the failure lies elsewhere; one may be an abettor to moral transgressions. Yet another option is to identify the mistake as a species of imprudence—one may take on great personal risk in (...)
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  8. Don’t Stop Believing (Hold onto That Warm Fuzzy Feeling).Edward J. R. Elliott & Jessica Isserow - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):4-37.
    If beliefs are a map by which we steer, then, ceteris paribus, we should want a more accurate map. However, the world could be structured so as to punish learning with respect to certain topics—by learning new information, one’s situation could be worse than it otherwise would have been. We investigate whether the world is structured so as to punish learning specifically about moral nihilism. We ask, if an ordinary person had the option to learn the truth about moral nihilism, (...)
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  9. Moral Kombat: Analytic Naturalism and Moral Disagreement.Edward Elliott & Jessica Isserow - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    Moral naturalists are often said to have trouble making sense of inter-communal moral disagreements. The culprit is typically thought to be the naturalist’s metasemantics and its implications for sameness of meaning across communities. The most familiar incarnation of this metasemantic challenge is the Moral Twin Earth argument. We address the challenge from the perspective of analytic naturalism, and argue that making sense of inter-communal moral disagreement creates no special issues for this view.
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  10. Moral Hypocrisy.Jessica Isserow - 2020 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The term ‘hypocrisy’ is said to derive from the Greek words ‘hupokrasis’ and ‘hupokrinesthai’, the former meaning ‘acting a part’, and the latter meaning ‘to act on a stage’. The element of play-acting reflects how the phenomenon of moral hypocrisy is commonly understood within philosophy. According to one long-standing tradition, hypocrites are those who advocate moral principles that do not reflect their underlying commitments, and who do so in order to mislead or manipulate others. A second tradition parts ways from (...)
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  11.  62
    Naturalising Moral Naturalism.Jessica Isserow - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 25 (3).
    Naturalist moral realists seem to have landed themselves a raw metaethical deal. Insofar as they identify moral properties in something external to human agents, they struggle to account for the deep practical hold that moral considerations have upon us, and stand accused of failing to take morality seriously as a normative phenomenon. And insofar as their method of identifying which natural properties are the moral ones is fairly permissive, they seem to over-generate admissible moralities, classifying as permissible a range of (...)
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  12.  66
    Self‐Esteem: On the Form of Self‐Worth Worth Having.Jessica Isserow - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (4):686-719.
    Self‐esteem is traditionally regarded as an important human good. But it has suffered a number of injuries to its good name. Critics allege that endeavours to promote self‐esteem merely foster narcissism or entitlement, and urge that we redirect our efforts elsewhere. I argue that such criticisms are symptomatic of a normative decline in how we think and theorize about self‐esteem rather than a defect in the construct itself. After exposing the shortcomings of alternative proposals, I develop an account of self‐esteem (...)
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  13.  27
    Richard Joyce, Essays in Moral Skepticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. ix + 274. [REVIEW]Jessica Isserow - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (1):126-129.
  14.  98
    Empathy and morality. [REVIEW]Jessica Isserow - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):597-608.
    Many of us will find it intuitive that there exists an important link between the ability to feel for others on the one hand and the ability to care for them and attend to their needs on the other—that is, between a capacity for empathy and a capacity for morality. But spelling out the details is hard to do. Not only must we say something about what having these distinct capacities amounts to; there is also the problem of specifying how (...)
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