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The Nature of Morality: An Introduction to Ethics

Oxford University Press (1977)

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  1. Projetivismo, circularidade e o problema da atitude moral.Leonardo De Mello Ribeiro - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (1).
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  • Reasoning with Moral Conflicts.John F. Horty - 2003 - Noûs 37 (4):557–605.
    Let us say that a normative conflict is a situation in which an agent ought to perform an action A, and also ought to perform an action B, but in which it is impossible for the agent to perform both A and B. Not all normative conflicts are moral conflicts, of course. It may be that the agent ought to perform the action A for reasons of personal generosity, but ought to perform the action B for reasons of prudence: perhaps (...)
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  • Interpreting the Categorical Imperative.Geoffrey Scarre - 1998 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 6 (2):223 – 236.
    In this paper the author considers a number of objections to the views he expressed in "kant's examples of the first formulation of the categorical imperative" ("the philosophical quarterly", Volume 7, Number 26, January, 1973) by professor kemp in "kant's examples of the categorical imperative" ("the philosophical quarterly", Volume 8, Number 30, January, 1957) and does what he can to reply to them.
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  • Moral Facts and the Problem of Justification in Ethics.Stefan Sencerz - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):368 – 388.
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  • Moral Realism in Sport.J. S. Russell - 2004 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 31 (2):142-160.
  • The Open Question Argument: What It Isn’T; and What It Is1.Fred Feldman - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):22–43.
  • Irrealism and the Genealogy of Morals.Richard Joyce - 2013 - Ratio 26 (4):351-372.
    Facts about the evolutionary origins of morality may have some kind of undermining effect on morality, yet the arguments that advocate this view are varied not only in their strategies but in their conclusions. The most promising such argument is modest: it attempts to shift the burden of proof in the service of an epistemological conclusion. This paper principally focuses on two other debunking arguments. First, I outline the prospects of trying to establish an error theory on genealogical grounds. Second, (...)
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  • Moral Discourse, Pluralism, and Moral Cognitivism.John R. Wright - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (1):92–111.
    In the face of pluralism, moral constructivists attempt to salvage cognitivism by separating moral and ethical issues. Divergence over ethical issues, which concern the good life, would not threaten moral cognitivism, which is based on identifying generalizable interests as worthy of defending, using reason. Yet this approach falters given the inability of the constructivist to provide us a sure path by which to discern generalizable interests in difficult cases. Still, even if this approach to constructivism fails, cognitivist aspirations may not (...)
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  • Topical Epistemologies.Todd Stewart - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (1):23–43.
    What is the point of developing an epistemology for a topic—for example, morality? When is it appropriate to develop the epistemology of a topic? For many topics—for example, the topic of socks—we see no need to develop a special epistemology. Under what conditions, then, does a topic deserve its own epistemology? I seek to answer these questions in this article. I provide a criterion for deciding when we are warranted in developing an epistemological theory for a topic. I briefly apply (...)
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  • Moral Phenomenology and Moral Theory.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):56–77.
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  • Minds and Morals.Sarah Sawyer - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):393-408.
    In this paper, I argue that an externalist theory of thought content provides the means to resolve two debates in moral philosophy. The first—that between judgement internalism and judgement externalism—concerns the question of whether there is a conceptual connection between moral judgement and motivation. The second—that between reasons internalism and reasons externalism—concerns the relationship between moral reasons and an agent's subjective motivational set. The resolutions essentially stem from the externalist claim that concepts can be grasped partially, and a new moral (...)
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  • Genealogy and Evidence: Prinz on the History of Morals.John M. Doris - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):704-713.
    Jesse Prinz’s The Emotional Construction of Morals is among the most significant of illuminations of human morality to appear in recent years. This embarrassment of riches presents the space-starved commentator with a dilemma: survey the book’s extraordinary sweep, and slight the textured argumentation, or engage a fraction of the argumentation, and slight the sweep. I’ll fall on the second horn, and focus mostly on Chapter 7, ‘The Genealogy of Morals’. Like Prinz , 1 I think that genealogical arguments have not, (...)
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  • Exclusion in Morality.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (2):275-290.
    Recently some philosophers suggested an exclusion problem for moral non-naturalism, which is similar to the exclusion problem in philosophy of mind. In this article, the author aims to advance the discussion of exclusion in morality by investigating two influential solutions to the exclusion problem: the autonomy solution and the overdetermination solution. The author attempts to show that the moral non-naturalist can solve the exclusion problem in a way that is different from the approach to solving mental-physical exclusion. First, the author (...)
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  • What is the Benacerraf Problem?Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - In Fabrice Pataut (ed.), New Perspectives on the Philosophy of Paul Benacerraf: Truth, Objects, Infinity. Springer Verlag.
    In "Mathematical Truth", Paul Benacerraf articulated an epistemological problem for mathematical realism. His formulation of the problem relied on a causal theory of knowledge which is now widely rejected. But it is generally agreed that Benacerraf was onto a genuine problem for mathematical realism nevertheless. Hartry Field describes it as the problem of explaining the reliability of our mathematical beliefs, realistically construed. In this paper, I argue that the Benacerraf Problem cannot be made out. There simply is no intelligible problem (...)
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  • The Humean Approach to Moral Diversity.Mark Collier - 2013 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 11 (1):41-52.
    In ‘A Dialogue’, Hume offers an important reply to the moral skeptic. Skeptics traditionally point to instances of moral diversity in support of the claim that our core values are fixed by enculturation. Hume argues that the skeptic exaggerates the amount of variation in moral codes, however, and fails to adopt an indulgent stance toward attitudes different from ours. Hume proposes a charitable interpretation of moral disagreement, moreover, which traces it back to shared principles of human nature. Contemporary philosophers attempt (...)
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  • Review of the Evolution of Morality, by Richard Joyce. [REVIEW]Gregory J. Morgan - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):685-690.
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  • Reply to Copp: Naturalism, Normativity, and the Varieties of Realism Worth Worrying About.Sharon Street - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):207-228.
  • Variations in Ethical Intuitions.Jennifer L. Zamzow & Shaun Nichols - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):368-388.
  • Variations in Ethical Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Jennifer L. Zamzow - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 368-388.
    Philosophical theorizing is often, either tacitly or explicitly, guided by intuitions about cases. Theories that accord with our intuitions are generally considered to be prima facie better than those that do not. However, recent empirical work has suggested that philosophically significant intuitions are variable and unstable in a number of ways. This variability of intuitions has led naturalistically inclined philosophers to disparage the practice of relying on intuitions for doing philosophy in general (e.g. Stich & Weinberg 2001) and for doing (...)
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  • Intuitive Non-Naturalism Meets Cosmic Coincidence.Matthew S. Bedke - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):188-209.
    Having no recourse to ways of knowing about the natural world, ethical non-naturalists are in need of an epistemology that might apply to a normative breed of facts or properties, and intuitionism seems well suited to fill that bill. Here I argue that the metaphysical inspiration for ethical intuitionism undermines that very epistemology, for this pair of views generates what I call the defeater from cosmic coincidence. Unfortunately, we face not a happy union, but a difficult choice: either ethical intuitionism (...)
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  • The Moral Requirement in Theistic and Secular Ethics.Patrick Loobuyck - 2010 - Heythrop Journal 51 (2):192-207.
    One of the central tasks of meta-ethical inquiry is to accommodate the common-sense assumptions deeply embedded in our moral discourse. A comparison of the potential of secular and theistic ethics shows that, in the end, theists have a greater facility in achieving this accommodation task; it is easier to appreciate the action-guiding authority and binding nature of morality in a theistic rather than in a secular context. Theistic ethics has a further advantage in being able to accommodate not only this (...)
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  • The Normative Force of Reasoning.Ralph Wedgwood - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):660–686.
    What exactly is reasoning? Like many other philosophers, I shall endorse a broadly causal conception of reasoning. Reasoning is a causal process, in which one mental event (say, one’s accepting the conclusion of a certain argument) is caused by an antecedent mental event (say, one’s considering the premises of the argument). Just like causal accounts of action and causal accounts of perception, causal accounts of reasoning have to confront a version of what has come to be known as the problem (...)
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  • Moral Realism and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Joel J. Kupperman - 1987 - Metaphilosophy 18 (2):95–107.
    The essay has two purposes. One is to point out connections and parallels between, On one hand, The debates of metaphysical realists and anti-Realists, And on the other hand, The debates surrounding moral realism. The second is to provide the outlines of a case for a kind of position that would generally be classified as moral realism. One feature of this position is that it emerges as parallel to, And compatible with, A metaphysical position that would generally be classified as (...)
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  • Causally Inefficacious Moral Properties.David Slutsky - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):595-610.
    In this paper, I motivate skepticism about the causal efficacy of moral properties in two ways. First, I highlight a tension that arises between two claims that moral realists may want to accept. The first claim is that physically indistinguishable things do not differ in any causally efficacious respect. The second claim is that physically indistinguishable things that differ in certain historical respects have different moral properties. The tension arises to the extent to which these different moral properties are supposed (...)
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  • A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content.Jeff Wisdom - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):285-300.
    Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have recently provided an updated presentation and defense of a metaethical view that they call cognitivist expressivism. Expressivists claim that moral judgments express propositional attitudes that do not represent or describe the external world. Horgan and Timmons agree with this claim, but they also deny the traditional expressivist claim that moral judgments do not express beliefs. On their view, moral judgments are genuine, truth-apt beliefs, thus making their form of expressivism a cognitivist one. In this (...)
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  • An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2006 - Philosophical Investigations 29 (3):250–274.
    Many naturalistically-minded philosophers want to accomplish a naturalistic reduction of normative (e.g. moral and epistemic) claims. Mindful of avoiding the naturalistic fallacy, such philosophers claim that they are not reducing moral and epistemic concepts or definitions. Rather, they are only reducing the extension of these normative terms, while admitting that the concepts possess a normative content that cannot be naturalistically reduced. But these philosophers run into a serious problem. I will argue that normative claims possess two dimensions of normativity. I (...)
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  • Towards Cognitive Moral Quasi-Realism.Eduardo García-Ramírez - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (1):5-0.
    There is a long-standing discussion concerning the nature of moral discourse. Multiple views range from realism—according to which moral discourse is closer to scientific discourse than to fictional discourse—to anti-realism—according to which moral discourse is rather closer to fictional discourse. In this paper, I want to motivate a novel anti-realist account. On this view, there are no moral properties or truths, neither mind-independent nor mind-dependent ones. However, moral cognition results from the use of higher order cognitive abilities with enough resources (...)
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  • Naturalism, Normativity, and Explanation: Some Scientistic Biases of Contemporary Naturalism.Guy Axtell - 1993 - Metaphilosophy 24 (3):253-274.
    The critical focus of this paper is on a claim made explicitly by Gilbert Harman and accepted implicitly by numerous others, the claim that naturalism supports concurrent defense of scientific objectivism and moral relativism. I challenge the assumptions of Harman's ‘argument from naturalism' used to support this combination of positions, utilizing. Hilary Putnam’s ‘companions in guilt’ argument in order to counter it. The paper concludes that while domain-specific anti-realism is often warranted, Harman’s own views about the objectivity of facts and (...)
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  • Multiple Realization and Expressive Power in Mathematics and Ethics.David Liggins - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    According to a popular ‘explanationist’ argument for moral or mathematical realism the best explanation of some phenomena are moral or mathematical, and this implies the relevant form of realism. One popular way to resist the premiss of such arguments is to hold that any supposed explanation provided by moral or mathematical properties is in fact provided only by the non-moral or non-mathematical grounds of those properties. Many realists have responded to this objection by urging that the explanations provided by the (...)
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  • Ethics and Observation: Dewey, Thoreau, and Harman.Andrew Ward - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (5):591-611.
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  • Debunking and Disagreement.Folke Tersman - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):754-774.
    The fact that debunkers can turn to the argument from disagreement for help is ofcourse not a surprise. After all, both types of challenge basically pursue the same,skeptical conclusion. What I have tried to show, however, is that they are related in amore intimate way.
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  • Naturalism and the Problem of Moral Knowledge.Michael Huemer - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-597.
    Ethical naturalists interpret moral knowledge as analogous to scientific knowledge and not dependent on intuition. For their account to succeed, moral truths must explain observable phenomena, and these explanations (i) must be better than any explanations framed in non-moral terms, (ii) must not rely on ad hoc posits about the causal powers of moral properties, and (iii) must not presuppose the existence of an independent means of awareness of moral truths. No moral explanations satisfy these criteria.
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  • Years of Moral Epistemology: A Bibliography.Laura Donohue & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):217-229.
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  • Sturgeon and Brink on Moral Explanations.Ken Yasenchuk - 1994 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):483-502.
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  • On the Epistemic Value of Moral Experience.William Tolhurst - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):67-87.
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  • Moral Conversion Without Moral Realism.Bruce N. Waller - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):129-137.
    People occasionally change their moral beliefs and principles, and they may experience such changes as occurring independently of their wishes. Moral realists argue that this phenomenon of moral conversion is evidence for moral realism, and against noncognitivism. However, contemporary noncognitivists can acknowledge such changes--including changes "against our wills"--and can account for the changes in a simpler and more plausible manner. If moral realism posits real moral facts to account for moral conversion the result will be an extreme and untenable inflation (...)
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  • Reason and Self-Interest.Judith M. Hill - 1988 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):193-205.
  • Empiricism in Science and Ethics.Stefan Sencerz - 1993 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):449-470.
    We elucidate the conditions under which any hypothesis is explanatorily relevant by analyzing several tests of explanatory relevance and explanations based on those tests. A new causal criterion of explanatory relevance is developed and defended. We show how the causal criterion succeeds in establishing, at the very least, a very strong presumption against moral facts.
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  • Dworkin and His Critics: The Relevance of Ethical Theory in Philosophy of Law.Stephen W. Ball - 1990 - Ratio Juris 3 (3):340-384.
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  • Defending Ethical Naturalism: The Roles of Cognitive Science and Pragmatism.Andrew Ward - 2005 - Zygon 40 (1):201-220.
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  • The Knowledge Argument, the Open Question Argument, and the Moral Problem.Michael Pelczar - 2009 - Synthese 171 (1):25 - 45.
    Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical nature could, apparently, suffer from ignorance about various aspects of conscious experience. Someone who knew everything about the world’s physical and mental nature could, apparently, suffer from moral ignorance. Does it follow that there are ways the world is, over and above the way it is physically or psychophysically? This paper defends a negative answer, based on a distinction between knowing the fact that p and knowing that p. This distinction is made (...)
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  • Review Essay / the Obligation to Obey the Law: Revision or Explanation?M. B. E. Smith - 1989 - Criminal Justice Ethics 8 (2):60-70.
    Kent Greenawalt, Conflicts of Law and Morality New York: Oxford University Press, 1987; xii, 383pp.
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  • Two Theories of Justice.Will Kymlicka - 1990 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):99 – 119.
  • Logic and the Autonomy of Ethics.Charles R. Pigden - 1989 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (2):127 – 151.
    My first paper on the Is/Ought issue. The young Arthur Prior endorsed the Autonomy of Ethics, in the form of Hume’s No-Ought-From-Is (NOFI) but the later Prior developed a seemingly devastating counter-argument. I defend Prior's earlier logical thesis (albeit in a modified form) against his later self. However it is important to distinguish between three versions of the Autonomy of Ethics: Ontological, Semantic and Ontological. Ontological Autonomy is the thesis that moral judgments, to be true, must answer to a realm (...)
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  • Há uma Geografia do Pensamento?Pascal Engel - 2007 - Cognitio 8 (2):197-212.
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  • The Quest for REALITY.Paul Horwich - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):5–16.
    A widespread concern within philosophy has been, and continues to be, to determine which domains of discourse address real, robust, not‐merely‐deflationary facts, and which do not. But a threat to the legitimacy of this concern is the extreme lack of consensus amongst philosophers on the question of how to tell whether or not a given domain is oriented towards ‘robust reality’. The present paper criticizes Kit Fine’s attempt to settle that question. This discussion is followed by some considerations suggesting that (...)
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  • Moral Explanations of Moral Beliefs: Inappropriate to Demand Them?John J. Tilley - 2020 - Theoria 86 (3):293-308.
    A familiar claim, meant as a challenge to moral knowledge, is that we can credibly accept putative moral facts just in case they explain natural facts. This paper critically addresses Elizabeth Tropman’s response to a version of that claim. Her response has interest partly because it falls within, and extends, an influential philosophical tradition – that of trying to expose (some) skeptical challenges as spurious or ill-conceived. Also, Tropman’s target is not just any version of the claim just mentioned. It (...)
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  • Humean Externalism and the Argument From Depression.Steven Swartzer - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-16.
    Several prominent philosophers have argued that the fact that depressed agents sometimes make moral judgments without being appropriately motivated supports Humean externalism – the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are distinct from or “external” to an agent’s motivationally inert moral judgments. This essay argues that such motivational failures do not, in fact, provide evidence for this view. I argue that, if the externalist argument from depression is to undermine a philo-sophically important version of (...)
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  • Four Faces of Moral Realism.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):820-849.
    This essay explains for a general philosophical audience the central issues and strategies in the contemporary moral realism debate. It critically surveys the contribution of some recent scholarship, representing expressivist and pragmatist nondescriptivism, subjectivist and nonsubjectivist naturalism, nonnaturalism and error theory. Four different faces of ‘ moral realism ’ are distinguished: semantic, ontological, metaphysical, and normative. The debate is presented as taking shape under dialectical pressure from the demands of capturing the moral appearances and reconciling morality with our understanding of (...)
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  • An Oblique Epistemic Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Alexander S. Harper - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (3):235-256.
    This article argues, against contemporary experimentalist criticism, that conceptual analysis has epistemic value, with a structure that encourages the development of interesting hypotheses which are of the right form to be valuable in diverse areas of philosophy. The article shows, by analysis of the Gettier programme, that conceptual analysis shares the proofs and refutations form Lakatos identified in mathematics. Upon discovery of a counterexample, this structure aids the search for a replacement hypothesis. The search is guided by heuristics. The heuristics (...)
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