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  1. Two Moral Arguments for a Global Social Cost of Carbon.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2018 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 21 (1):60-63.
    [Comment] Donald Trump’s executive order on energy limits the costs and benefits of carbon to domestic sources. The argument for this executive order is that carbon policies should not be singled out from other policies as globally inclusive. Two independent arguments are offered for adopting a global social cost of carbon. The first is based on reinforcing norms in the face of commons tragedies. The second is based on the limitations of consequentialist analyses. We can distinguish consequences for which probabilistic (...)
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  • Individual Responsibility, Large-Scale Harms, and Radical Uncertainty.Rekha Nath - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25:267-291.
    Some consequentialists argue that ordinary individuals are obligated to act in specific, concrete ways to address large-scale harms. For example, they argue that we should each refrain from meat-eating and avoid buying sweatshop-made clothing. The case they advance for such prescriptions can seem intuitive and compelling: by acting in those ways, a person might help prevent serious harms from being produced at little or no personal cost, and so one should act in those ways. But I argue that such reasoning (...)
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  • El panóptico de Bentham y la instrumentalización de los derechos humanos.Pablo Beytía Reyes - 2017 - Universitas Philosophica 34 (68).
    Este artículo revisa los fundamentos del utilitarismo de Jeremy Bentham y las principales críticas a esta doctrina, profundizando en aquella que sostiene su incompatibilidad con el respeto irrestricto de los derechos humanos. Insertándose en esta problemática, analiza una paradigmática propuesta política del filósofo inglés: el panóptico, proyecto arquitectónico formulado por Bentham a finales del siglo XVIII con el fin de reformar el sistema penitenciario europeo. A partir del análisis del Panóptico –que se descubre como una aplicación coherente del utilitarismo benthamiano–, (...)
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  • Epistemic Humility, Arguments From Evil, and Moral Skepticism.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 2:17-57.
    Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth, 2013, 6th edition, eds. Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. In this essay, I argue that the moral skepticism objection to what is badly named "skeptical theism" fails.
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  • Infinite Ethics.Nick Bostrom - 2011 - Analysis and Metaphysics 10:9-59.
  • Consequentialism and Decision Procedures.Toby Ord - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    Consequentialism is often charged with being self-defeating, for if a person attempts to apply it, she may quite predictably produce worse outcomes than if she applied some other moral theory. Many consequentialists have replied that this criticism rests on a false assumption, confusing consequentialism’s criterion of the rightness of an act with its position on decision procedures. Consequentialism, on this view, does not dictate that we should be always calculating which of the available acts leads to the most good, but (...)
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  • What is the Upper Limit of Value?David Manheim & Anders Sandberg - manuscript
    How much value can our decisions create? We argue that unless our current understanding of physics is wrong in fairly fundamental ways, there exists an upper limit of value relevant to our decisions. First, due to the speed of light and the definition and conception of economic growth, the limit to economic growth is a restrictive one. Additionally, a related far larger but still finite limit exists for value in a much broader sense due to the physics of information and (...)
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  • Complexity, Economics, and Public Policy.Steven N. Durlauf - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (1):45-75.
    This article considers the implications of complex systems models for the study of economics and the evaluation of public policies. I argue that complexity can enhance current approaches to formal economic analysis, but does so in ways that complement current approaches. I further argue that while complexity can influence how public policy analysis is conducted, it does not delimit the use of consequentialist approaches to policy comparison to the degree initially suggested by Hayek and most recently defended by Gaus.
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  • The Shape of a Global Ethic.Robin Attfield - 2006 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (1):5-19.
    A global ethic needs to be cosmopolitan in a sense which is explained; this excludes certain kinds of communitarian ethic. Contracttheories, Kantianism, basic-rights theories, Ross-type deontology and theories of virtue ethics are reviewed and found to encounter severe problems. Consequentialist theories, however, are found capable of coping with Williams’ objections, and practice-consequentialist theories capable of coping with right-making practices and with Lenman's unpredictability objection. Variants that exclude from consideration unintended consequences, the results of omissions, or impacts on possible people, or (...)
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  • Moral Advice and Moral Theory.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):349 - 359.
    Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I (...)
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  • Reasons Without Humans.James Lenman - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):586-595.
    1. Brian Hedden, in this impressively learned and ingenious, if somewhat maddening book,1 1 defends a view he calls Time-slice Rationality, a view comprising two central claims. They are: Synchronicity : All requirements of rationality are synchronic. Impartiality : In determining how you rationally ought to be at a time, your beliefs about what attitudes you have at other times play the same role as your beliefs about what attitudes other people have.
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  • Empirical Ignorance as Defeating Moral Intuitions? A Puzzle for Rule Consequentialists.Caleb Perl - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):62-72.
    This paper develops an argument that, if rule consequentialism is true, it’s not possible to defend it as the outcome of reflective equilibrium. Ordinary agents like you and me are ignorant of too many empirical facts. Our ignorance is a defeater for our moral intuitions. Even worse, there aren’t enough undefeated intuitions left to defend rule consequentialism. The problem I’ll describe won’t be specific to rule consequentialists, but it will be especially sharp for them.
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  • Time-Slice Rationality and Filling in Plans.Justin Snedegar - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):595-607.
    In Reasons Without Persons, Brian Hedden argues that a theory of rationality need not provide diachronic norms for reasoning, since we can explain all we need to explain about rationality using purely synchronic norms. This article argues that a theory of rationality should contain at least one diachronic norm for reasoning, namely a norm to fill in the details of one's coarse-grained or partial plans. It also explores a possible synchronic approach to this aspect of rationality.
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  • Obligation and Regret When There is No Fact of the Matter About What Would Have Happened If You Had Not Done What You Did.Caspar Hare - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):190 - 206.
    It is natural to distinguish between objective and subjective senses of.
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  • Monkeys, Typewriters, and Objective Consequentialism.Eric Wiland - 2005 - Ratio 18 (3):352–360.
  • Moral Disagreement and Non-Moral Ignorance.Nicholas Smyth - 2019 - Synthese 1 (2):1-20.
    The existence of deep and persistent moral disagreement poses a problem for a defender of moral knowledge. It seems particularly clear that a philosopher who thinks that we know a great many moral truths should explain how human populations have failed to converge on those truths. In this paper, I do two things. First, I show that the problem is more difficult than it is often taken to be, and second, I criticize a popular response, which involves claiming that many (...)
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  • Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards.Nick Bostrom - unknown
    Because of accelerating technological progress, humankind may be rapidly approaching a critical phase in its career. In addition to well-known threats such as nuclear holocaust, the propects of radically transforming technologies like nanotech systems and machine intelligence present us with unprecedented opportunities and risks. Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges. In the case of radically transforming technologies, a better understanding of the transition dynamics from (...)
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  • Agnosticism, Skeptical Theism, and Moral Obligation.Stephen Maitzen - forthcoming - In Trent G. Dougherty & Justin P. McBrayer (eds.), Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Skeptical theism combines theism with skepticism about our capacity to discern God’s morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil. Proponents have claimed that skeptical theism defeats the evidential argument from evil. Many opponents have objected that it implies untenable moral skepticism, induces appalling moral paralysis, and the like. Recently Daniel Howard-Snyder has tried to rebut this prevalent objection to skeptical theism by rebutting it as an objection to the skeptical part of skeptical theism, which part he labels “Agnosticism” (with an intentionally (...)
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  • Moral Knowledge and Moral Uncertainty1.Oswald Hanfling - 2008 - Philosophical Investigations 31 (2):105-123.
    Applying a broadly Wittgensteinian view of knowledge and its relation to the conditions in which the word “know” is ordinarily used, the paper defends the claim that there can be knowledge in moral matters and rejects the idea that a cross‐culturally homogeneous moral language is a necessary condition for this. However, the fact that moral knowledge is available sometimes does not imply that it is available always. Taking issue in particular with Ronald Dworkin, the paper also argues that where moral (...)
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  • Moral Knowledge and Moral Uncertainty.Oswald Hanfling - 2008 - Philosophical Investigations 31 (2):105–123.
    Applying a broadly Wittgensteinian view of knowledge and its relation to the conditions in which the word “know” is ordinarily used, the paper defends the claim that there can be knowledge in moral matters and rejects the idea that a cross‐culturally homogeneous moral language is a necessary condition for this. However, the fact that moral knowledge is available sometimes does not imply that it is available always. Taking issue in particular with Ronald Dworkin, the paper also argues that where moral (...)
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  • 7 Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 143.
  • Is There an Obligation to Abort? Act Utilitarianism and the Ethics of Procreation.Leonard Kahn - 2019 - Essays in Philosophy 20 (1):24-41.
    Most Act-Utilitarians, including Singer are Permissivists who claim that their theory usually permits abortion. In contrast, a minority, including Hare and Tännsjö, are Restrictionists who assert that Act-Utilitarianism usually limits abortion. I argue that both Permissivists and Restrictionists have misunderstood AU’s radical implications for abortion: AU entails that abortion is, in most cases in the economically developed world, morally obligatory. According to AU, it is morally obligatory for A to do F in circumstances C if and only if A’s doing (...)
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  • Ross and the Particularism/Generalism Divide.Kristian Olsen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):56-75.
    W. D. Ross is commonly considered to be a generalist about prima facie duty but a particularist about absolute duty. That is, many philosophers hold that Ross accepts that there are true moral principles involving prima facie duty but denies that there are any true moral principles involving absolute duty. I agree with the former claim: Ross surely accepts prima facie moral principles. However, in this paper, I challenge the latter claim. Ross, I argue, is no more a particularist about (...)
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  • Normativity Without Cartesian Privilege.Amia Srinivasan - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):273-299.
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  • Towards a Normative Framework for Public Health Ethics and Policy.James Wilson - 2009 - Public Health Ethics 2 (2):184-194.
    Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre and Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, UCL, First Floor, Charles Bell House, 67–73 Riding House Street, London W1W 7EJ, UK. Tel.: +44 (0)20 7679 9417; Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 9426; Email: james-gs.wilson{at}ucl.ac.uk ' + u + '@' + d + ' '//--> . Abstract This paper aims to shed some light on the difficulties we face in constructing a generally acceptable normative framework for thinking about public health. It argues that there are three factors that (...)
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  • Meaningful Lives, Ideal Observers, and Views From Nowhere.Jason Kawall - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:73-97.
    In recent discussions of whether our lives are or can be meaningful, appeals are often made to such things as “a view from nowhere,” or “the viewpoint of the universe.” In this paper I attempt to make sense of what it might mean for a being to possess such a perspective, and argue that common appeals to such perspectives are inadequately developed; crucially, they do not adequately account for the character of the beings taken to possess these viewpoints. In the (...)
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  • Defusing the Demandingness Objection: Unreliable Intuitions.Matthew Braddock - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):169-191.
    Dogged resistance to demanding moral views frequently takes the form of The Demandingness Objection. Premise (1): Moral view V demands too much of us. Premise (2): If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken. Conclusion: Therefore, moral view V is mistaken. Objections of this form harass major theories in normative ethics as well as prominent moral views in applied ethics and political philosophy. The present paper does the following: (i) it clarifies and distinguishes between various (...)
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  • Consequentialism and the World in Time.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2013 - Ratio 26 (2):212-224.
    Consequentialism is a general approach to understanding the nature of morality that seems to entail a certain view of the world in time. This entailment raises specific problems for the approach. The first seems to lead to the conclusion that every actual act is right – an unacceptable result for any moral theory. The second calls into question the idea that consequentialism is an approach to morality, for it leads to the conclusion that this approach produces a theory whose truth (...)
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  • Measuring Freedom, and its Value.Nicolas Cote - 2021 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    This thesis concerns the measurement of freedom, and its value. Specifically, I am concerned with three overarching questions. First, can we measure the extent of an individual’s freedom? It had better be that we can, otherwise much ordinary and intuitive talk that we would like to vindicate – say, about free persons being freer than slaves – will turn out to be false or meaningless. Second, in what ways is freedom valuable, and how is this value measured? It matters, for (...)
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  • A Pluralism Worth Having: Feyerabend's Well-Ordered Science.Jamie Shaw - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    The goal of this dissertation is to reconstruct, critically evaluate, and apply the pluralism of Paul Feyerabend. I conclude by suggesting future points of contact between Feyerabend’s pluralism and topics of interest in contemporary philosophy of science. I begin, in Chapter 1, by reconstructing Feyerabend’s critical philosophy. I show how his published works from 1948 until 1970 show a remarkably consistent argumentative strategy which becomes more refined and general as Feyerabend’s thought matures. Specifically, I argue that Feyerabend develops a persuasive (...)
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  • Utility, Progress, and Technology: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies.Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.) - 2021 - Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing.
    This volume collects selected papers delivered at the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which was held at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in July 2018. It includes papers dealing with the past, present, and future of utilitarianism – the theory that human happiness is the fundamental moral value – as well as on its applications to animal ethics, population ethics, and the future of humanity, among other topics.
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  • Amelioration Vs. Perversion.Teresa Marques - 2020 - In Teresa Marques & Asa Maria Wikforss (eds.), Shifting Concepts: The Philosophy and Psychology of Conceptual Variability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Words change meaning, usually in unpredictable ways. But some words’ meanings are revised intentionally. Revisionary projects are normally put forward in the service of some purpose – some serve specific goals of inquiry, and others serve ethical, political or social aims. Revisionist projects can ameliorate meanings, but they can also pervert. In this paper, I want to draw attention to the dangers of meaning perversions, and argue that the self-declared goodness of a revisionist project doesn’t suffice to avoid meaning perversions. (...)
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  • Objective Consequentialism and the Plurality of Chances.Leszek Wroński - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12089-12105.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  • Against Animal Replaceability: A Restriction on Consequences.Ricardo Miguel - 2021 - In Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Utility, Progress, and Technology: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing. pp. 183-192.
    Animal replaceability is supposed to be a feature of some consequentialist theories, like Utilitarianism. Roughly, an animal is replaceable if it is permissible to kill it because the disvalue thereby caused will be compensated by the value of a new animal’s life. This is specially troubling since the conditions for such compensation seem easily attainable by improved forms of raising and killing animals. Thus, grounding a strong moral status of animals in such theories is somewhat compromised. As is, consequently, their (...)
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  • Can Autonomous Agents Without Phenomenal Consciousness Be Morally Responsible?László Bernáth - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):1363-1382.
    It is an increasingly popular view among philosophers that moral responsibility can, in principle, be attributed to unconscious autonomous agents. This trend is already remarkable in itself, but it is even more interesting that most proponents of this view provide more or less the same argument to support their position. I argue that as it stands, the Extension Argument, as I call it, is not sufficient to establish the thesis that unconscious autonomous agents can be morally responsible. I attempt to (...)
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  • Consequentialism and the Agent's Point of View.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Ethics.
    I propose and defend a novel view called ‘de se consequentialism’, which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates — contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others — that a consequentialist theory employing agent-neutral value is logically consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, de se consequentialism clarifies both the nature of agent-centered constraints and why philosophers have found them puzzling, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated non-consequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist (...)
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  • Infinite aggregation: expanded addition.Hayden Wilkinson - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1917-1949.
    How might we extend aggregative moral theories to compare infinite worlds? In particular, how might we extend them to compare worlds with infinite spatial volume, infinite temporal duration, and infinitely many morally valuable phenomena? When doing so, we face various impossibility results from the existing literature. For instance, the view we adopt can endorse the claim that worlds are made better if we increase the value in every region of space and time, or that they are made better if we (...)
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  • The Moral Skepticism Objection to Skeptical Theism.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Justin McBrayer & Daniel Howard-Snyder (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 444--457.
  • The Harmful Influence of Decision Theory on Ethics.Sven Ove Hansson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):585-593.
    In the last half century, decision theory has had a deep influence on moral theory. Its impact has largely been beneficial. However, it has also given rise to some problems, two of which are discussed here. First, issues such as risk-taking and risk imposition have been left out of ethics since they are believed to belong to decision theory, and consequently the ethical aspects of these issues have not been treated in either discipline. Secondly, ethics has adopted the decision-theoretical idea (...)
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  • Varieties of Responsibility: Two Problems of Responsible Innovation.Ibo van de Poel & Martin Sand - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 19):4769-4787.
    The notion of responsible innovation suggests that innovators carry additional responsibilities beyond those commonly suggested. In this paper, we will discuss the meaning of these novel responsibilities focusing on two philosophical problems of attributing such responsibilities to innovators. The first is the allocation of responsibilities to innovators. Innovation is a process that involves a multiplicity of agents and unpredictable, far-reaching causal chains from innovation to social impacts, which creates great uncertainty. A second problem is constituted by possible trade-offs between different (...)
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  • Chaos, Add Infinitum.Hayden Wilkinson - manuscript
    Our universe is both chaotic and (most likely) infinite in space and time. But it is within this setting that we must make moral decisions. This presents problems. The first: due to our universe's chaotic nature, our actions often have long-lasting, unpredictable effects; and this means we typically cannot say which of two actions will turn out best in the long run. The second problem: due to the universe's infinite dimensions, and infinite population therein, we cannot compare outcomes by simply (...)
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  • Communities of Judgment : Towards a Teleosemantic Theory of Moral Thought and Discourse.Karl Bergman - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This thesis offers a teleosemantic account of moral discourse and judgment. It develops a number of views about the function and content of moral judgments and the nature of moral discourse based on Ruth Millikan’s theory of intentional content and the functions of intentional attitudes. Non-cognitivists in meta-ethics have argued that moral judgments are more akin to desires and other motivational attitudes than to descriptive beliefs. I argue that teleosemantics allows us to assign descriptive content to motivational attitudes and hence (...)
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  • Ethics and the Question of What to Do.Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Several recent debates in ethics and metaethics highlight what has been called the “central deliberative question.” For instance, in cases involving normative uncertainty, it is natural to ask questions like “I don’t know what I ought to do—*now* what ought I to do?” But it is not clear how this question should be understood, since what I ought to do is precisely what I do not know. Similar things can be said about questions raised by normative conflicts, so-called “alternative normative (...)
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  • Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Christian Miller (ed.), Bloomsbury Handbook of Ethics. Bloomsbury.
  • A dilemma for evolutionary debunking arguments.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):45-69.
    Evolutionary debunkers claim that evolutionary explanations of moral phenomena lead to sceptical conclusions. The aim of this paper is to show that even if we grant debunkers the speculative claims that evolution provides the best explanation of moral phenomena and that there are no other moral phenomena for which moral facts/properties are indispensable, the sceptical conclusions debunkers seek to establish still do not follow. The problem for debunkers is to link the empirical explanatory claim to the normative conclusion that moral (...)
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  • Sobel on Pleasure, Reason, and Desire.Attila Tanyi - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):101-115.
    The paper begins with a well-known objection to the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires. The objection holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of the argument by David Sobel. Sobel invokes a counterexample: hedonic desires, i.e. the likings and dislikings (...)
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  • The Ineffable and the Incalculable: G. E. Moore on Ethical Expertise.Ben Eggleston - 2005 - In Lisa Rasmussen (ed.), Ethics Expertise: History, Contemporary Perspectives, and Applications. Springer. pp. 89–102.
    According to G. E. Moore, moral expertise requires abilities of several kinds: the ability to factor judgments of right and wrong into (a) judgments of good and bad and (b) judgments of cause and effect, (2) the ability to use intuition to make the requisite judgments of good and bad, and (3) the ability to use empirical investigation to make the requisite judgments of cause and effect. Moore’s conception of moral expertise is thus extremely demanding, but he supplements it with (...)
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  • The Science of Morality and its Normative Implications.Tommaso Bruni, Matteo Mameli & Regina A. Rini - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):159-172.
    Neuromoral theorists are those who claim that a scientific understanding of moral judgment through the methods of psychology, neuroscience and related disciplines can have normative implications and can be used to improve the human ability to make moral judgments. We consider three neuromoral theories: one suggested by Gazzaniga, one put forward by Gigerenzer, and one developed by Greene. By contrasting these theories we reveal some of the fundamental issues that neuromoral theories in general have to address. One important issue concerns (...)
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  • Chance and the Dissipation of Our Acts’ Effects.Derek Shiller - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):334-348.
    ABSTRACT If the future is highly sensitive to the past, then many of our acts have long-term consequences whose significance well exceeds that of their foreseeable short-term consequences. According to an influential argument by James Lenman, we should think that the future is highly sensitive to acts that affect people’s identities. However, given the assumption that chancy events are ubiquitous, the effects that our acts have are likely to dissipate over a short span of time. The sets of possible futures (...)
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  • Consequentialism in Environmental Ethics.Avram Hiller - 2017 - In Stephen M. Gardiner & Allen Thompson (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics. New York, NY, USA: pp. 199-210.