Violent video games and morality: a meta-ethical approach

Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):311-321 (2015)
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This paper considers what it is about violent video games that leads one reasonably minded person to declare “That is immoral” while another denies it. Three interpretations of video game content are discussed: reductionist, narrow, and broad. It is argued that a broad interpretation is required for a moral objection to be justified. It is further argued that understanding the meaning of moral utterances—like “x is immoral”—is important to an understanding of why there is a lack of moral consensus when it comes to the content of violent video games. Constructive ecumenical expressivism is presented as a means of explaining what it is that we are doing when we make moral pronouncements and why, when it comes to video game content, differing moral attitudes abound. Constructive ecumenical expressivism is also presented as a means of illuminating what would be required for moral consensus to be achieved.



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Garry Young
University of Melbourne

Citations of this work

What does the gamer do?Rebecca Davnall - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):225-237.
An Expressivist Account of the Difference between Poor Taste and Immorality.Garry Young - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):465-482.
How Would We Know If Moral Enhancement Had Occurred?Garry Young - 2018 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (4):587-606.

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References found in this work

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1978 - Oxford : Oxford University Press.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
Naturalizing the Mind.Fred Dretske - 1997 - Noûs 31 (4):528-537.

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