This book addresses some basic questions about intrinsic value: What is it? What has it? What justifies our beliefs about it? In the first six chapters the author defends the existence of a plurality of intrinsic goods, the thesis of organic unities, the view that some goods are 'higher' than others, and the view that intrinsic value can be explicated in terms of 'fitting' emotional attitudes. The final three chapters explore the justification of our beliefs about intrinsic value, including coherence (...) theories and the idea that some value beliefs are warranted on the basis of emotional experience. Professor Lemos defends the view that some value beliefs enjoy 'modest' a priori justification. The book is intended primarily for professional philosophers and their graduate students working in ethics, value theory and epistemology. (shrink)
Epistemology or the theory of knowledge is one of the cornerstones of analytic philosophy, and this book provides a clear and accessible introduction to the subject. It discusses some of the main theories of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, and virtue epistemology. Other topics include the Gettier problem, internalism and externalism, skepticism, the problem of epistemic circularity, the problem of the criterion, a priori knowledge, and naturalized epistemology. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in epistemology, this lucid and (...) well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy. (shrink)
In this 2004 book, Noah Lemos presents a strong defense of the common sense tradition, the view that we may take as data for philosophical inquiry many of the things we ordinarily think we know. He discusses the main features of that tradition as expounded by Thomas Reid, G. E. Moore and Roderick Chisholm. For a long time common sense philosophers have been subject to two main objections: that they fail to give any non-circular argument for the reliability of memory (...) and perception; and that they pick out instances of knowledge without knowing a criterion for knowledge. Lemos defends the appeal to what we ordinarily think we know in both epistemology and ethics and thus rejects the charge that common sense is dogmatic, unphilosophical or question-begging. Written in a clear and engaging style, this book will appeal to students and philosophers in epistemology and ethics. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider two sorts of objections to summative theories of value. The first objection concerns “indeterminate” value. The second concerns the importance of variety. I argue that both objections pose serious problems for the summative approach. I also argue that if we accept certain plausible views about the value of variety, we should reject certain forms of argument concerning what sorts of states have intrinsic value.
In this essay, I defend the Moorean position on organic unities. I will present some plausible examples of organic unites and consider some objections to them. In particular, I will consider an objection from evaluative inadequacy and an objection from Holism or Conditionalism. I will also examine one line of criticism that claims the Moorean position is incoherent.
Abstract: Ernest Sosa has done important work on epistemic circularity, epistemic virtue, and reflective knowledge. He holds that epistemic circularity need not be vicious and need not prevent us from knowing that our ways of forming beliefs are reliable. In this article, I briefly explore Sosa's defense of this view and raise some questions about what is required for reflective knowledge.
I defend the view that there are organic unities mainly by presenting examples of organic unities. I also defend the view against two objections. The first objection appeals to the notion of an evaluatively incomplete state of affairs. The second objection holds that the intrinsic value of a state of affairs can be different in different contexts. I argue that neither objection provides a compelling reason for rejecting these examples.
In ”Epistemology and Ethics,” Noah Lemos suggests that moral epistemology is mainly concerned with “whether and how we can have knowledge or justified belief” about moral issues. After addressing skeptical arguments, he considers how the moral epistemologist and moral philosopher should begin their account of moral knowledge. Lemos favors a particularist approach whereby we begin with instances of moral knowledge and use these to formulate and evaluate criteria for moral knowledge. After relating his approach to concerns about the nature of (...) the epistemic justification of moral beliefs as dealt with by foundationalists and coherentists, Lemos responds to arguments against particularist approaches in moral epistemology. Specifically, he addresses the claim that our moral beliefs must receive their justification from an independent moral criterion developed from nonmoral beliefs. (shrink)
Joel Kupperman’s Value…And What Follows ranges widely over topics in value theory, moral epistemology, normative ethics and political philosophy. Given its breadth, and the generally high quality of the discussion, Kupperman’s work should interest philosophers working in one or more of these areas. The book is divided into three parts, entitled “Axiology”, “Axiology and Conduct”, and “Axiology and Social Choice”. The first part on axiology receives the most attention and consists of five chapters, while the second part consists of three (...) chapters, and the third part of two. Among the views defended are that some things are intrinsically good or good as an end, that we can have justified beliefs about what has this sort of value through various sorts of experiences, that it is sometimes best to do what does not have the best consequences, and that a moderate or limited perfectionism is a defensible social policy compatible with certain forms of political liberalism. (shrink)
essay on the theory of value. It is among the best defenses of a rational desire/preference theory of the good. Even those not inclined to accept such theories will profit from reading Carson's discussion. Moreover, it would be worthwhile reading for scholars and students in various areas of applied ethics. The book is divided into two parts. The first half of the book addresses firstorder questions about what things are good and bad. The second half discusses various metaethical questions which (...) he takes to be relevant to answering the first order questions. In his first two chapters, Carson presents arguments for and against hedonistic theories of value. This is a thorough and fair discussion of hedonism. He then devotes a chapter each to rational desire theories of value, Nietzsche's views of value and the good life, and Aristotelian theories of value. Each of these is good, but the chapter on rational desire theories is perhaps the most important given the view that Carson ultimately defends. The second half of the book consists of three chapters. Chapter six concerns the concept of goodness. In chapter seven, Carson raises objections to various forms of moral and axiological realism. In the final chapter, entitled "The Concept of Rationality as a Basis for Normative Theories," Carson develops and defends his own views about rational preference and its role in moral and axiological theories. In most of what follows I will focus on Carson's own positive views about value and.. (shrink)
Some philosophers have adopted both a commonsense approach to the theory of knowledge and held that some epistemic principles are knowable a priori. Roderick Chisholm is a prominent example of a philosopher who does both. In The Problem of the Criterion, Chisholm holds that in attempting to discover criteria of evidence we should begin with particular commonsense examples of knowledge, such as I know that I have two hands and I know that there are other people. According to Chisholm, our (...) knowledge of these particular epistemic facts does not depend upon our knowing criteria of evidence or knowledge. Moreover, we may reject various criteria of evidence and knowledge because they do not fit with these particular epistemic facts. Thus, according to Chisholm, we may reject the empiricist criterion of knowledge held by Locke and Hume because it implies that we do not know things that we do in fact know, because it conflicts with our commonsense epistemic beliefs. (shrink)
In this paper, I present briefly a view about intrinsic value, one connected to the concepts of ethically required attitudes of favor, disfavor, and preference. If lives can have both welfare value and intrinsic value, how are these values related? I defend the view that the welfare value of a life does not track the intrinsic value of that life. Some philosophers, however, deny that anything can have intrinsic value or absolute value. Some argue that to hold that something is (...) both bad for a person and bad simpliciter leads to an objectionable double counting. Others hold views that would, if true, diminish the practical importance of intrinsic value. Some hold that our relations with others should not be guided by what is intrinsically good or bad, but only by what is good or bad for someone. Others hold that the concepts of love, benefit, and harm are tied exclusively to welfare value or well-being. Still others suggest that the moral principles of beneficence and non-maleficence are tied exclusively to welfare and well-being. I argue that these views are mistaken. In this regard, I attempt to defend the practical importance of intrinsic value. (shrink)
There is a long tradition in moral philosophy which maintains that a necessary condition for moral goodness is that one act from a sense of duty. Kant is perhaps the best known and most discussed representative of this view, but one finds others prior to Kant, such as Butler and Price, and Kant's contemporaries, such as Reid, expressing similar ideas. Price, for example writes, ". . . what I have chiefly insisted on, is, that we characterize as virtuous no actions (...) flowing merely from instinctive desires, or from any principle except a regard to virtue itself.'' In this paper, I shall defend a version of this thesis. (shrink)