Ethics And

Abstract

We pretend that philosophical problems divide into the various subfields of philosophy, but to take this pretense too seriously is a mistake. Philosophical problems often raise issues within more than one subfield, and require knowledge of and insights from several subfields. To pretend that ethical questions can be pursued in isolation from the rest of philosophy would be to miss out on a great deal. This course will highlight some recent, cutting—edge work on problems at the overlap of ethics and three other subfields of philosophy. The course has three sections: Ethics and Metaphysics, Ethics and Language, and Ethics and Epistemology. We will examine questions such as the following: ls there moral luck? ls there a morally significant making/allowing distinction? Can work in the metaphysics of causation help us to answer these two questions? Does a careful reflection on modality, and the recognition that each of us could have lived different lives, ultimately show that consequentialism is true? Can recent work in the philosophy of language on generics help us to understand moral generalizations better? Can it help us to settle whether particularism is true? Can recent work on semantic relativism solve problems for Expressivism? What can advances in the study of vagueness tell us about slippery—slope arguments and other Sorites—like arguments in ethics? Should we expect reasonable, fully—informed people to converge on the same moral beliefs over time? What is the epistemic significance of our predictions regarding convergence? What is the epistemic significance of widespread moral disagreement? ls it reasonable to rely on first—order moral beliefs in answering such meta—ethical questions as d0 we have maral knawledge? and is maral realism true} Are there moral experts?

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Sarah McGrath
Princeton University

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References found in this work

Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
Relativism and disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
Moral Luck.Thomas Nagel - 1993 - In Daniel Statman (ed.), Moral Luck. SUNY Press. pp. 141--166.
Generics: Cognition and acquisition.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):1-47.

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