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  1. csdcvsd.Pink Pallid - manuscript
  2. 5 Challenges to Naturalistic, Secular Moral Realism.Mayer Paul - manuscript
    In this paper I discuss five meta-ethical challenges to Naturalistic Moral Realism, which includes secular moral codes such as Secular Humanism that, in my view, naturalists need to address to keep their commitment to moral realism from looking like special pleading. The five challenges are as follows: 1. The Ontological Problem (OP): How do such moral principles exist? 2. The Epistemic Problem (EP): How does our moral sense/intuition track such principles? 3. The Influence Problem (IP): What authority does the existence (...)
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  3. The Supervenience of the Normative and the Autonomy of Essence: Lessons from Leary’s Hybrid Gambit.Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett - forthcoming - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), The Future of Normativity. Oxford:
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  4. Standing up for supervenience.Bart Streumer - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    There is a well-known argument against irreducibly normative properties that appeals to the following claim about supervenience: for all possible worlds W and W*, if the instantiation of descriptive properties in W and W* is exactly the same, then the instantiation of normative properties in W and W* is also exactly the same. This claim used to be uncontroversial, but recently several philosophers have challenged it. Do these challenges undermine this argument? I argue that they do not, since the negation (...)
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  5. Metaethics and the Nature of Properties.Jussi Suikkanen - forthcoming - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume.
    This paper explores the connection between two philosophical debates concerning the nature of properties. The first metaethical debate is about whether normative properties are ordinary natural properties or some unique kind of non-natural properties. The second metaphysical debate is about whether properties are sets of objects, transcendent or immanent universals, or sets of tropes. I argue that nominalism, transcendent realism, and immanent realism are not neutral frameworks for the metaethical debate but instead lead to either metaethical naturalism or non-naturalism. We (...)
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  6. Nonnaturalism, the Supervenience Challenge, Higher-Order Properties, and Trope Theory.Jussi Suikkanen - 2024 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 26 (3):601-632.
    Nonnaturalist realism is the view that normative properties are unique kind of stance-independent properties. It has been argued that such views fail to explain why two actions that are exactly alike otherwise must also have the same normative properties. Mark Schroeder and Knut Olav Skarsaune have recently suggested that nonnaturalist realists can respond to this supervenience challenge by taking the primary bearers of normative properties to be action kinds. This paper develops their response in two ways. First, it provides additional (...)
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  7. Resurrecting the Hume's Dictum argument against metaethical non-naturalism.Noah Gordon - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-23.
    I argue for the viability of one neglected way of developing supervenience-based objections to metaethical non-naturalism. This way goes through a principle known as ‘Hume’s Dictum’, according to which there are no necessary connections between distinct existences. I challenge several objections to the Hume’s Dictum-based argument. In the course of doing so, I formulate and motivate modest and precise versions of Hume’s Dictum, illustrate how arguments employing these principles might proceed, and argue that the Hume’s Dictum argument enjoys some advantages (...)
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  8. Realist dependence and irrealist butterflies.Caj Strandberg - 2023 - Synthese 201 (3):1-23.
    In this paper, I argue that a realist account of the modality of moral supervenience is superior to a non-cognitivist account. According to the recommended realist account, moral supervenience amounts to strong supervenience where the outer ‘necessary’ is conceptual and the inner metaphysical. It is argued that non-cognitivism faces a critical choice between weak and strong supervenience where both options are implausible on this view. However, non-cognitivism seems to have an important advantage: It can explain why the outer ‘necessary’ is (...)
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  9. Supervenience, expressivism and theistic ethics.Luke Taylor - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):227-247.
    Expressivism is supposed to have an advantage over moral realism, in that it can explain why it is a conceptual truth that the moral supervenes on the natural, even though the natural does not entail the moral. I develop an analogy between expressivism and a version of theistic moral realism, and argue that this version of theistic moral realism shares any advantage that expressivism might have. It may be that the alleged advantage that expressivism has over moral realism is overstated. (...)
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  10. Moral principle explanations of supervenience.Harjit Bhogal - 2022 - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Explaining the supervenience of the moral on the natural is, perhaps, the central metaphysical challenge for the non-naturalist. However, Scanlon (2014) and Fogal and Risberg (2020) have developed a strategy which purports to explain supervenience rather simply. Fogal and Risberg call it the 'Divide and Conquer' strategy. The key idea is to postulate explanatory moral principles linking the natural and the moral. The moral principles are metaphysically necessary, so trivially supervene on the natural. All other moral facts are determined by (...)
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  11. Against and for Ethical Naturalism Or: How Not To "Naturalize" Ethics.Berit Brogaard & Michael Slote - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):327-352.
    Moral realism and ethical naturalism are both highly attractive ethical positions but historically they have often been thought to be irreconcilable. Since the late 1980s defenders of Cornell Realism have argued that the two positions can consistently be combined. They make three constitutive claims: (i) Moral properties are natural kind properties that (ii) are identical to (or supervene) on descriptive functional properties, which (iii) causally regulate our use of moral terms. We offer new arguments against the feasibility of Cornell realism (...)
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  12. The Worth of Persons: The Foundation of Ethics.James Franklin - 2022 - New York: Encounter Books.
    The death of a person is a tragedy while the explosion of a lifeless galaxy is a mere firework. The moral difference is grounded in the nature of humans: humans have intrinsic worth, a worth that makes their fate really matter. This is the worth proposed as the foundation of ethics. Ethics in the usual sense of right and wrong actions, rights and virtues, and how to live a good life, is founded on something more basic that is not itself (...)
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  13. Nomic moral naturalness.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    Moral realists often disagree about the nature of moral properties. These properties can be natural (as per naturalistic moral realism) or non-natural. But it is unclear how we should understand the notion of naturalness employed in these discussions. In this paper I propose a novel account of moral naturalness. I suggest that a property F is natural iff F falls within the scope of a natural law. In turn, a law is natural when it figures in a nomic nexus involving (...)
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  14. Properties, Moral.Caj Strandberg - 2022 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
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  15. The Evolution of Moral Standing Without Supervenience.Brian Zamulinski - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (2):333-349.
    There is an alternative to the type of moral standing that hypothetically supervenes on other, base or subvenient, properties. Attributed moral standing results when people who have a naturally selected belief that they are worthy of moral consideration negotiate with others with the aim of being acknowledged as having moral standing and are successful. They could successfully negotiate with people who possessed supervenient moral standing. In a hypothetical evolutionary competition with the latter, they would replace them entirely. The result would (...)
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  16. Toward an Ethics of Nothingness: Sartre, Supervenience, and the Necessity of My Contingency.Jose Luis Fernandez - 2021 - Humanities Bulletin 4 (1):9-19.
    Ethics normally proceeds by establishing some kind of ground from which norms can be derived for human action. However, no such terra firma is found in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, which instead lays down a sedimentary soil consisting of a blend of nothingness and contingency. This paper aims to show how Sartre is able to build an ethical theory from this seemingly groundless mixture, and it proceeds in three sections. Section one aims to disentangle the relation between the for-itself (...)
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  17. What Is Non-Naturalism?Stephanie Leary - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    Metaethicists often specify non-naturalism in different ways: some take it to be about identity, while others take it to be about grounding. But few directly address the taxonomical question of what the best way to understand non-naturalism is. That’s the task of this paper. This isn’t a merely terminological question about how to use the term “non-naturalism”, but a substantive philosophical one about what metaphysical ideology we need to capture the pre-theoretical concerns of non-naturalists. I argue that, contrary to popular (...)
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  18. Moral blame and rational criticism.Caj Strandberg - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):345-360.
    A central issue in practical philosophy concerns the relation between moral blameworthiness and normative reasons. As there has been little of direct exchange between the debate on reasons and the debate on blameworthiness, this topic has not received the attention it deserves. In this paper, I consider two notions about blameworthiness and reasons that are fundamental in respective field. The two notions might seem incontrovertible when considered individually, but I argue that they together entail claims that are highly contentious. In (...)
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  19. Explaining our Knowledge of Normative Supervenience.Vilma Venesmaa - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 16:233-256.
    It is commonly assumed that if normative terms are analyzable in descriptive terms, as claimed by analytic reductionists, this provides an easy explanation why normative supervenience would be a conceptual truth. This chapter argues that our knowledge of normative supervenience has two important features this explanation fails to account for: first, the idea that normative properties supervene on descriptive properties seems obvious to us and, secondly, we don’t come to accept this thesis distributively by finding it plausible in each of (...)
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  20. The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    It’s commonly held that particular moral facts are explained by ‘natural’ or ‘descriptive’ facts, though there’s disagreement over how such explanations work. We defend the view that general moral principles also play a role in explaining particular moral facts. More specifically, we argue that this view best makes sense of some intuitive data points, including the supervenience of the moral upon the natural. We consider two alternative accounts of the nature and structure of moral principles—’the nomic view’ and ‘moral platonism’—before (...)
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  21. Resisting Reductive Realism.N. G. Laskowski - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 15. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 96 - 117.
    Ethicists struggle to take reductive views seriously. They also have trouble conceiving of some supervenience failures. Understanding why provides further evidence for a kind of hybrid view of normative concept use.
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  22. Moore, Brentano, and Scanlon: a defense of indefinability.Miles Tucker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2261-2276.
    Mooreans claim that intrinsic goodness is a conceptual primitive. Fitting-attitude theorists object: they say that goodness should be defined in terms of what it is fitting for us to value. The Moorean view is often considered a relic; the fitting-attitude view is increasingly popular. I think this unfortunate. Though the fitting-attitude analysis is powerful, the Moorean view is still attractive. I dedicate myself to the influential arguments marshaled against Moore’s program, including those advanced by Scanlon, Stratton-Lake and Hooker, and Jacobson; (...)
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  23. Supervenience, Repeatability, & Expressivism.Emad H. Atiq - 2019 - Noûs 54 (3):578-599.
    Expressivists traditionally explain normative supervenience by saying it is a conceptual truth. I argue against this tradition in two steps. First, I show the modal claim that stands in need of explanation has been stated imprecisely. Classic arguments in metaethics for normative supervenience and those that rely on it as a premise presuppose a constraint on the supervenience base that is rarely (if ever) made explicit: the repeatability of the non-normative properties on which the normative supervenes. Non-normative properties are repeatable (...)
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  24. Proceso, Evolución y Acción.Miguel Cabrera Machado - 2019 - XII Jornadas de Investigación y I Jornadas de Extensión de la Facultad de Humanidades y Educación. 25-29 Noviembre 2019.
    A través de un relato mítico inspirado en el "Mito de Jones", escrito por Wilfrid Sellars, se ilustra la posibilidad de que los conceptos morales, aprendidos simultáneamente con el aprendizaje del lenguaje, sean el producto de la evolución. El mecanismo principal, plausiblemente no el único, es el de refuerzo y sanción de los actos verbales y no verbales. Algunas conductas son reforzadas y tenidas como “buenas” y otras sancionadas como “malas”, durante un proceso de aprendizaje que tiene tanto episodios de (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Moral supervenience.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):592-615.
    It is widely held, even among nonnaturalists, that the moral supervenes on the natural. This is to say that for any two metaphysically possible worlds w and w′, and for any entities x in w and y in w′, any isomorphism between x and y that preserves the natural properties preserves the moral properties. In this paper, I put forward a conceivability argument against moral supervenience, assuming non-naturalism. First, I argue that though utilitarianism may be true, and the trolley driver (...)
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  27. Why Believe in Normative Supervenience?Debbie Roberts - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    According to many, that the normative supervenes on the non-normative is a truism of normative discourse. This chapter argues that those committed to more specific moral, aesthetic, and epistemic supervenience theses should also hold : As a matter of conceptual necessity, whenever something has a normative property, it has a base property or collection of base properties that metaphysically necessitates the normative one. The main aim in this chapter is to show that none of the available arguments establish, or indeed (...)
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  28. Hybrid Non-Naturalism Does Not Meet the Supervenience Challenge.David Faraci - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3).
    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.
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  29. Non-naturalism and Normative Necessities.Stephanie Leary - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12.
    This chapter argues that the best way for a non-naturalist to explain why the normative supervenes on the natural is to claim that, while there are some sui generis normative properties whose essences cannot be fully specified in non-normative terms and do not specify any non-normative sufficient conditions for their instantiation, there are certain hybrid normative properties whose essences specify both naturalistic sufficient conditions for their own instantiation and sufficient conditions for the instantiation of certain sui generis normative properties. This (...)
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  30. Mixed up about mixed worlds? Understanding Blackburn’s supervenience argument.Cole Mitchell - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2903-2925.
    Simon Blackburn’s supervenience argument—focusing on the mysterious “ban on mixed worlds”—is still subject to a variety of conflicting interpretations. In this paper, I hope to provide a defense of the argument that clarifies both the argument and the objections it must overcome. Many of the extant objections, I will argue, fail to engage the argument in its true form. And to counter the more compelling objections, it will be necessary to bring in additional argumentation that Blackburn himself does not clearly (...)
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  31. Depending on the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):197-220.
    The claim that the normative depends on the non-normative is just as entrenched in metanormative theory as the claim that the normative supervenes on the non-normative. It is widely held to be a genuine truism, a conceptual truth that operates as a constraint on competence with normative concepts. Call it the dependence constraint. I argue that this status is unwarranted. While it is true that the normative is dependent, it is not a genuine truism, or a conceptual truth, that it (...)
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  32. The Supervenience Challenge to Non-Naturalism.Pekka Väyrynen - 2017 - In Tristram Colin McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 170-84.
    This paper is a survey of the supervenience challenge to non-naturalist moral realism. I formulate a version of the challenge, consider the most promising non-naturalist replies to it, and suggest that no fully effective reply has yet been given.
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  33. Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
  34. Review of Erik Wielenberg's Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism. [REVIEW]Jussi Suikkanen - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):541-545.
    This article is a short book review of Erik Wielenberg's book Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism.
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  35. Richard Kraut, Against Absolute Goodness , pp. xii+ 224.Julie Tannenbaum - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):119-122.
    In Against Absolute Goodness Richard Kraut aims to show that absolute goodness (or badness) is not reason-giving; it plays no role is justifying or requiring certain attitudes and no role in reasoning about what to do. It passes the buck (it never adds to the weightiness of more specific reasons) and so for practical purposes can be ignored. However, he claims that the notions of ‘a good R’ (e.g. a good play) and ‘good for S’ do justify certain attitudes and (...)
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  36. The Normative and the Natural.Michael Padraic Wolf & Jeremy Randel Koons - 2016 - New York: Palgrave.
    Drawing on a rich pragmatist tradition, this book offers an account of the different kinds of ‘oughts’, or varieties of normativity, that we are subject to contends that there is no conflict between normativity and the world as science describes it. The authors argue that normative claims aim to evaluate, to urge us to do or not do something, and to tell us how a state of affairs ought to be. These claims articulate forms of action-guidance that are different in (...)
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  37. Are moral properties impossible?Wouter F. Kalf - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1869-1887.
    Perhaps the actual world does not contain moral properties. But might moral properties be impossible because no world, possible or actual, contains them? Two metaethical theories can be argued to entail just that conclusion; viz., emotivism and error theory. This paper works towards the strongest formulation of the emotivist argument for the impossibility of moral properties, but ultimately rejects it. It then uses the reason why the emotivist argument fails to argue that error-theoretic arguments for the impossibility of moral properties (...)
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  38. How To Be a Moral Platonist.Knut Olav Skarsune - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics (10).
    Contrary to popular opinion, non-natural realism can explain both why normative properties supervene on descriptive properties, and why this pattern is analytic. The explanation proceeds by positing a subtle polysemy in normative predicates like “good”. Such predicates express slightly different senses when they are applied to particulars (like Florence Nightingale) and to kinds (like altruism). The former sense, “goodPAR”, can be defined in terms of the latter, “goodKIN”, as follows: x is goodPAR iff there is a kind K such that (...)
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  39. Moral Vagueness: A Dilemma for Non-Naturalism.Cristian Constantinescu - 2014 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 9. Oxford University Press. pp. 152-185.
    In this paper I explore the implications of moral vagueness (viz., the vagueness of moral predicates) for non-naturalist metaethical theories like those recently championed by Shafer-Landau, Parfit, and others. I characterise non-naturalism in terms of its commitment to 7 theses: Cognitivism, Correspondence, Atomism, Objectivism, Supervenience, Non-reductivism, and Rationalism. I start by offering a number of reasons for thinking that moral predicates are vague in the same way in which ‘red’, ‘tall’, and ‘heap’ are said to be. I then argue that (...)
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  40. The moral fixed points: new directions for moral nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  41. Supervenience Arguments and Normative Non‐naturalism.Billy Dunaway - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):627-655.
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  42. Can Moral Principles Explain Supervenience?Aaron Elliott - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (4):629-659.
    The distribution of moral properties supervenes on the distribution of natural properties, and this provides a puzzle for non-naturalism: what could explain supervenience if moral properties are not natural properties? Enoch claims moral principles explain supervenience. But this solution is incomplete without an account of what moral principles and properties are, and what relation holds between them. This paper begins to develop such an account by exploring analogous issues for Realism about Laws of nature in philosophy of science. Appealing to (...)
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  43. Expressivism, Anti-Archimedeanism and Supervenience.Christine Tiefensee - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):163-181.
    Metaethics is traditionally understood as a non-moral discipline that examines moral judgements from a standpoint outside of ethics. This orthodox understanding has recently come under pressure from anti-Archimedeans, such as Ronald Dworkin and Matthew Kramer, who proclaim that rather than assessing morality from an external perspective, metaethical theses are themselves substantive moral claims. In this paper, I scrutinise this anti-Archimedean challenge as applied to the metaethical position of expressivism. More precisely, I examine the claim that expressivists do not avoid moral (...)
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  44. Two Dogmas of Kantian Ethics.Scott Forschler - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):255-269.
    Two fundamental assumptions of Kant’s procedure for testing a maxim’s morality via the Formula of Universal Law are that a contradiction in will is 1) generated by the universal practice of immoral maxims, and 2) constituted by the impossibility of an agent’s therein satisfying certain ends. These features are the source of two types of false positive counter-examples, involving maxims where 1) the harmful effects of the maxims are non-linear and hence vanish when universalized, and 2) even the universal practice (...)
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  45. The moral supervenience thesis is not a conceptual truth.Gerald K. Harrison - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):62-68.
    Virtually everyone takes the moral supervenience thesis to be a basic conceptual truth about morality. As a result, if a metaethical theory has difficulties respecting or adequately explaining the supervenience relationship it is deemed to be in big trouble. However, the moral supervenience thesis is a not a conceptual truth (though it may be true) and as such it is not a problem if a metaethical theory cannot respect or explain it.
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  46. Why There Really Are No Irreducibly Normative Properties.Bart Streumer - 2013 - In David Bakhurst, Margaret Olivia Little & Brad Hooker (eds.), Thinking about reasons: themes from the philosophy of Jonathan Dancy. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 310-336.
    Jonathan Dancy thinks that there are irreducibly normative properties. Frank Jackson has given a well-known argument against this view, and I have elsewhere defended this argument against many objections, including one made by Dancy. But Dancy remains unconvinced. In this chapter, I hope to convince him.
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  47. Shapelessness and predication supervenience: a limited defense of shapeless moral particularism.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):51-67.
    Moral particularism, on some interpretations, is committed to a shapeless thesis: the moral is shapeless with respect to the natural. (Call this version of moral particularism ‘shapeless moral particularism’). In more detail, the shapeless thesis is that the actions a moral concept or predicate can be correctly applied to have no natural commonality (or shape) amongst them. Jackson et al. (Ethical particularism and patterns, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000) argue, however, that the shapeless thesis violates the platitude ‘predication supervenes on (...)
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  48. Against Normative Naturalism.Matthew S. Bedke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):111 - 129.
    This paper considers normative naturalism, understood as the view that (i) normative sentences are descriptive of the way things are, and (ii) their truth/falsity does not require ontology beyond the ontology of the natural world. Assuming (i) for the sake of argument, I here show that (ii) is false not only as applied to ethics, but more generally as applied to practical and epistemic normativity across the board. The argument is a descendant of Moore's Open Question Argument and Hume's Is-Ought (...)
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  49. Still No Redundant Properties: Reply to Wielenberg.Campbell Brown - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-6.
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  50. Intrinsic value and the supervenience principle.Dale Dorsey - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):267-285.
    An important constraint on the nature of intrinsic value---the “Supervenience Principle” (SP)---holds that some object, event, or state of affairs ϕ is intrinsically valuable only if the value of ϕ supervenes entirely on ϕ 's intrinsic properties. In this paper, I argue that SP should be rejected. SP is inordinately restrictive. In particular, I argue that no SP-respecting conception of intrinsic value can accept the importance of psychological resonance, or the positive endorsement of persons, in explaining value.
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