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  1. Moral Relativism.Christopher Gowans - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral relativism is an important topic in metaethics. It is also widely discussed outside philosophy (for example, by political and religious leaders), and it is controversial among philosophers and nonphilosophers alike. This is perhaps not surprising in view of recent evidence that people's intuitions about moral relativism vary widely. Though many philosophers are quite critical of moral relativism, there are several contemporary philosophers who defend forms of it. These include such prominent figures as Gilbert Harman, Jesse J. Prinz, J. David (...)
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  • Moral Anti-Realism.Richard Joyce - 2016 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
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  • Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John J. Park, David Tien, Jennifer Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2014 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2. New York, NY, USA: pp. 169-192.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary folk understanding of morality involves a rejection of moral relativism and a belief in objective moral truths. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist intuitions when confronted with questions about individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions as they were confronted with questions about individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. In light of these data, the authors hypothesize (...)
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  • Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Cole Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  • Meta-Ethics and the Mortality: Mortality Salience Leads People to Adopt a Less Subjectivist Morality.Onurcan Yilmaz & Hasan G. Bahçekapili - 2018 - Cognition 179:171-177.
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  • Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan.James R. Beebe & David Sackris - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):912-929.
    We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...)
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  • From Punishment to Universalism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (1):59-72.
    Many philosophers have claimed that the folk endorse moral universalism. Some have taken the folk view to support moral universalism; others have taken the folk view to reflect a deep confusion. And while some empirical evidence supports the claim that the folk endorse moral universalism, this work has uncovered intra-domain differences in folk judgments of moral universalism. In light of all this, our question is: why do the folk endorse moral universalism? Our hypothesis is that folk judgments of moral universalism (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy, Folk Metaethics and Qualitative Methods.David Moss - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):185-203.
    The file associated with this record is under embargo while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
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  • Relativism or Tolerance? Defining, Assessing, Connecting, and Distinguishing Two Moral Personality Features with Prominent Roles in Modern Societies.Lauren Collier-Spruel, Ashley Hawkins, Eranda Jayawickreme, William Fleeson & R. Michael Furr - 2019 - Journal of Personality:1-19.
    Objective This work disentangles moral tolerance from moral relativism and reveals their distinct personological meanings. Both constructs have long been of interest to moral philosophers, moral psychologists, and everyday people, and they may play prominent roles in the feasibility of modern diverse societies. However, they have been criticized as devaluing morality and as producing overly permissive societies. Moreover, although they lack necessary conceptual implications for each other, they are easily (and often) conflated. -/- Method Three studies included nine samples (total (...)
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  • Empirical Research on Folk Moral Objectivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (5).
    Lay persons may have intuitions about morality's objectivity. What do these intuitions look like? And what are their causes and consequences? In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have begun to investigate these questions empirically. This article presents and assesses the resulting area of research as well as its potential philosophical implications. First, we introduce the methods of empirical research on folk moral objectivism. Second, we provide an overview of the findings that have so far been made. Third, we (...)
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  • Rational Learners and Metaethics: Universalism, Relativism, and Evidence From Consensus.Alisabeth Ayars & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):67-89.
    Recent work in folk metaethics finds a correlation between perceived consensus about a moral claim and meta-ethical judgments about whether the claim is universally or only relatively true. We argue that consensus can provide evidence for meta-normative claims, such as whether a claim is universally true. We then report several experiments indicating that people use consensus to make inferences about whether a claim is universally true. This suggests that people's beliefs about relativism and universalism are partly guided by evidence-based reasoning. (...)
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  • Contextualism in Ethics.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    There are various ways in which context matters in ethics. Most clearly, the context in which an action is performed might determine whether the action is morally right: though it is often wrong not to keep a promise, it might be permissible in certain contexts. More radically, proponents of moral particularism (see particularism) have argued that a reason for an action in one context is not guaranteed to be a reason in a different context: whether it is a reason against (...)
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  • The Influence of Social Interaction on Intuitions of Objectivity and Subjectivity.Fisher Matthew, Knobe Joshua, Strickland Brent & C. Keil Frank - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (4):1119-1134.
    We present experimental evidence that people's modes of social interaction influence their construal of truth. Participants who engaged in cooperative interactions were less inclined to agree that there was an objective truth about that topic than were those who engaged in a competitive interaction. Follow-up experiments ruled out alternative explanations and indicated that the changes in objectivity are explained by argumentative mindsets: When people are in cooperative arguments, they see the truth as more subjective. These findings can help inform research (...)
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  • Anti-Realist Pluralism: a New Approach to Folk Metaethics.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):53-82.
    Many metaethicists agree that as ordinary people experience morality as a realm of objective truths, we have a prima facie reason to believe that it actually is such a realm. Recently, worries have been raised about the validity of the extant psychological research on this argument’s empirical hypothesis. Our aim is to advance this research, taking these worries into account. First, we propose a new experimental design for measuring folk intuitions about moral objectivity that may serve as an inspiration for (...)
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  • Moral Objectivism and a Punishing God.Hagop Sarkissian & Mark Phelan - 2019 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 80:1-7.
    Many moral philosophers have assumed that ordinary folk embrace moral objectivism. But, if so, why do folk embrace objectivism? One possibility is the pervasive connection between religion and morality in ordinary life. Some theorists contend that God is viewed as a divine guarantor of right and wrong, rendering morality universal and absolute. But is belief in God per se sufficient for moral objectivism? In this paper, we present original research exploring the connections between metaethics and particular conceptions of God among (...)
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  • After Objectivity: An Empirical Study of Moral Judgment.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):3 – 26.
    This paper develops an empirical argument that the rejection of moral objectivity leaves important features of moral judgment intact. In each of five reported experiments, a number of participants endorsed a nonobjectivist claim about a canonical moral violation. In four of these experiments, participants were also given a standard measure of moral judgment, the moral/conventional task. In all four studies, participants who respond as nonobjectivists about canonical moral violations still treat such violations in typical ways on the moral/conventional task. In (...)
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  • How to Measure Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):647-670.
    In recent years an increasing number of psychologists have begun to explore the prevalence, causes and effects of ordinary people’s intuitions about moral realism. Many of these studies have lacked in construct validity, i.e., they have failed to measure moral realism. My aim in this paper accordingly is to motivate and guide methodological improvements. In analysis of prominent existing measures, I develop general recommendations for overcoming ten prima facie serious worries about research on folk moral realism. G1 and G2 require (...)
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  • Qualitative Tools and Experimental Philosophy.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1128-1141.
    Experimental philosophy brings empirical methods to philosophy. These methods are used to probe how people think about philosophically interesting things such as knowledge, morality, and freedom. This paper explores the contribution that qualitative methods have to make in this enterprise. I argue that qualitative methods have the potential to make a much greater contribution than they have so far. Along the way, I acknowledge a few types of resistance that proponents of qualitative methods in experimental philosophy might encounter, and provide (...)
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  • The Psychology of Meta-Ethics: Exploring Objectivism.Geoffrey P. Goodwin & John M. Darley - 2008 - Cognition 106 (3):1339-1366.
  • “Moral Objectivism in Cross-Cultural Perspective”.James Beebe, Runya Qiaoan, Tomasz Wysocki & Miguel A. Endara - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4):386-401.
    Moral psychologists have recently turned their attention to the study of folk metaethical beliefs. We report the results of a cross-cultural study using Chinese, Polish and Ecuadorian participants that seeks to advance this line of investigation. Individuals in all three demographic groups were observed to attribute objectivity to ethical statements in very similar patterns. Differences in participants’ strength of opinion about an issue, the level of societal agreement or disagreement about an issue, and participants’ age were found to significantly affect (...)
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  • The Perceived Objectivity of Ethical Beliefs: Psychological Findings and Implications for Public Policy. [REVIEW]Geoffrey P. Goodwin & John M. Darley - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):161-188.
    Ethical disputes arise over differences in the content of the ethical beliefs people hold on either side of an issue. One person may believe that it is wrong to have an abortion for financial reasons, whereas another may believe it to be permissible. But, the magnitude and difficulty of such disputes may also depend on other properties of the ethical beliefs in question—in particular, how objective they are perceived to be. As a psychological property of moral belief, objectivity is relatively (...)
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  • The Empirical Study of Folk Metaethics.James Beebe - 2015 - Etyka 15:11-28.
    In this paper, I review recent attempts by experimental philosophers and psychologists to study folk metaethics empirically and discuss some of the difficulties that researchers face when trying to construct the right kind of research materials and interpreting the results that they obtain. At first glance, the findings obtained so far do not look good for the thesis that people are everywhere moral realists about every moral issue. However, because of difficulties in interpreting these results, I argue that better research (...)
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  • Color Constancy and Dispositionalism.Joshua Gert - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):183-200.
    This article attempts to do two things. The first is to make it plausible that any adequate dispositional view of color will have to associate colors with complex functions from a wide range of normal circumstances to a wide range of (simultaneously) incompatible color appearances, so that there will be no uniquely veridical appearance of any given color. The second is to show that once this move is made, dispositionalism is in a position to provide interesting answers to some of (...)
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  • Moral Relativism.Chris Gowans - 2019 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
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  • Moral Anti-Realism.Richardn D. Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    It might be expected that it would suffice for the entry for “moral anti-realism” to contain only some links to other entries in this encyclopedia. It could contain a link to “moral realism” and stipulate the negation of the view there described. Alternatively, it could have links to the entries “anti-realism” and “morality” and could stipulate the conjunction of the materials contained therein. The fact that neither of these approaches would be adequate—and, more strikingly, that following the two procedures would (...)
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  • Estimating the Reproducibility of Experimental Philosophy.Florian Cova, Brent Strickland, Angela Abatista, Aurélien Allard, James Andow, Mario Attie, James Beebe, Renatas Berniūnas, Jordane Boudesseul, Matteo Colombo, Fiery Cushman, Rodrigo Diaz, Noah N’Djaye Nikolai van Dongen, Vilius Dranseika, Brian D. Earp, Antonio Gaitán Torres, Ivar Hannikainen, José V. Hernández-Conde, Wenjia Hu, François Jaquet, Kareem Khalifa, Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer, Joshua Knobe, Miklos Kurthy, Anthony Lantian, Shen-yi Liao, Edouard Machery, Tania Moerenhout, Christian Mott, Mark Phelan, Jonathan Phillips, Navin Rambharose, Kevin Reuter, Felipe Romero, Paulo Sousa, Jan Sprenger, Emile Thalabard, Kevin Tobia, Hugo Viciana, Daniel Wilkenfeld & Xiang Zhou - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1):1-36.
    Responding to recent concerns about the reliability of the published literature in psychology and other disciplines, we formed the X-Phi Replicability Project to estimate the reproducibility of experimental philosophy. Drawing on a representative sample of 40 x-phi studies published between 2003 and 2015, we enlisted 20 research teams across 8 countries to conduct a high-quality replication of each study in order to compare the results to the original published findings. We found that x-phi studies – as represented in our sample (...)
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  • Can Only One Person Be Right? The Development of Objectivism and Social Preferences Regarding Widely Shared and Controversial Moral Beliefs.Larisa Heiphetz & Liane L. Young - 2017 - Cognition 167:78-90.
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  • The Meta-Ethical Grounding of Our Moral Beliefs: Evidence for Meta-Ethical Pluralism.Jennifer C. Wright, Piper T. Grandjean & Cullen B. McWhite - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):336-361.
    Recent scholarship (Goodwin & Darley, 2008) on the meta-ethical debate between objectivism and relativism has found people to be mixed: they are objectivists about some issues, but relativists about others. The studies discussed here sought to explore this further. Study 1 explored whether giving people the ability to identify moral issues for themselves would reveal them to be more globally objectivist. Study 2 explored people's meta-ethical commitments more deeply, asking them to provide verbal explanations for their judgments. This revealed that (...)
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  • Folk Moral Objectivism and its Measurement.Lieuwe Zijlstra - 2019 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 84.
    Experimental philosophers and psychologists investigate whether people perceive moral judgments to be objectively true or false. Existing research focuses on a single dimension of ‘perceived objectivity’. The present research examines whether multiple dimensions of folk moral objectivity underlie moral judgments. It also examines whether such dimensions relate to perceived objectivity, tolerance, and people’s behavioral intentions to punish norm-violators. Exploratory factor analysis on twenty ethical items revealed three different ways of perceiving moral truth (Independent Truth, Universal Truth, Divine Truth), which each (...)
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  • Why Are Some Moral Beliefs Perceived to Be More Objective Than Others.Geoffrey Goodwin & John M. Darley - 2012 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48 (1):250-256.
    Recent research has investigated whether people think of their moral beliefs as objectively true facts about the world, or as subjective preferences. The present research examines variability in the perceived objectivity of different moral beliefs, with respect both to the content of moral beliefs themselves (what they are about), and to the social representation of those moral beliefs (whether other individuals are thought to hold them). It also examines the possible consequences of perceiving a moral belief as objective. With respect (...)
     
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  • The Fragmented Folk: More Evidence of Stable Individual Differences in Moral Judgments and Folk Intuitions.A. Feltz & E. T. Cokely - 2008 - In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 1771--1776.
    In a series of five experiments, we demonstrate that moral judgments and folk intuitions are often predictably fragmented. Drawing on the domains of ethics and action theory, we illustrate ways in which judgment tends to be associated with stable individual differences such as personality traits and reflective cognitive styles. We argue that these individual differences pose several unique challenges as well as provide opportunities for further theoretical development in the emerging field of experimental philosophy. Implications are briefly discussed.
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  • Without God, Everything is Permitted? The Reciprocal Influence of Religious and Meta-Ethical Beliefs.Onurcan Yilmaz - 2015 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 58:95-100.
    The relation between religious and moral thought has been difficult to unravel because of the multifaceted nature of both religion and morality. We chose to study the belief dimension of religion and the meta-ethics dimension of morality and investigated the relation between God-related thoughts and objectivist/subjectivist morality in three studies. We expected a reciprocal relation between the idea of God and objective morality since God is one prominent way through which objective moral truths could be grounded and thus the lack (...)
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  • Moral Realism as Moral Motivation: The Impact of Meta-Ethics on Everyday Decision-Making.Liane Young & A. J. Durwin - 2013 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49 (2):302-306.
    People disagree about whether “moral facts” are objective facts like mathematical truths (moral realism) or simply products of the human mind (moral antirealism). What is the impact of different meta-ethical views on actual behavior? In Experiment 1, a street canvasser, soliciting donations for a charitable organization dedicated to helping impoverished children, primed passersby with realism or antirealism. Participants primed with realism were twice as likely to be donors, compared to control participants and participants primed with antirealism. In Experiment 2, online (...)
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  • .P. Rysiew - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 126 (1):126-132.
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