Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):153-161 (2010)

Amanda Roth
State University of New York at Geneseo
I argue that a number of non-utopian accounts of ethical progress—specifically, those offered by Wiggins, Moody-Adams, and Rorty—face a trade-off between objectivity and the radical revision of values. I suggest that each of these views is unsatisfactory because they face the Goldilocks problem—none of the views is able to get the trade-off between objectivity and radical revision of values “just right.” Moody-Adams and Wiggins offer accounts which are too conservative with regard to ethical progress in not allowing radical revision of values, while Rorty’s account is too liberal in not maintaining enough objectivity. Despite thisdifficulty, however, I conclude on an optimistic note about the potential of non-utopian accounts of progress. I sketch out a Dewey-inspired view of progress which I believe can overcome the Goldilocks problem.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI swphilreview201026117
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