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Kenneth Walden [24]Kenneth E. Walden [1]
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Kenneth Walden
Dartmouth College
  1.  72
    Laws of nature, laws of freedom, and the social construction of normativity.Kenneth Walden - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:37.
    This chapter develops a theory of categorical normativity, of those principles that have authority over us regardless of our ends and interests. It argues that there is an intimate connection between these norms and the conditions of agency. In this respect, it offers a version of constitutivism. But the version of constitutivism defended is unique in a few respects. First, it is naturalistic: agency is an emergent property, like the properties of biology and economics. Second, it is social: agency is (...)
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  2. In defense of reflective equilibrium.Kenneth Walden - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):243-256.
    Recent years have seen a rekindling of interest in the method of reflective equilibrium. Most of this attention has been suspicious, however. Critics have alleged that the method is nothing more than a high-minded brand of navel-gazing, that it suffers from all the classic problems of inward-looking coherence theories, and that it overestimates the usefulness of self-scrutiny. In this paper I argue that these criticisms miss their mark because they labor under crucial misconceptions about the method of reflective equilibrium. In (...)
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  3. Holism about Fact and Value.Kenneth Walden - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper argues for confirmational holism about facts and values. This position is similar to one defended by (among others) Hilary Putnam, but the argument is importantly different. Whereas Putnam et al. rely on examples of the putative entanglement of facts and values – a strategy which I suggest is vulnerable to parrying – my argument proceeds at a more general level. I argue that the explanation of action can not be separated from our practical reasoning, and for this reason, (...)
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  4.  68
    The Aid That Leaves Something to Chance.Kenneth Walden - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):231-241.
    I argue that a crucial point has been overlooked in the debate over the “numbers problem.” The initial arrangement of parties in the problem can be thought of as chancy, and whatever considerations of fairness recommend the reliance on something like a coin toss in approaching this problem equally recommend treating the initial distribution as a kind of lottery. This fact, I suggest, undermines one of the principal arguments against saving the greater number.
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  5. The Euthyphro Dilemma.Kenneth Walden - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):612-639.
  6.  53
    Practical reason not as such.Kenneth Walden - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2).
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  7.  39
    Art and Moral Revolution.Kenneth Walden - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3):283-295.
    Traditionally, questions about the role of the arts in moral thought have focused on the arts’ role in the acquisition of new moral knowledge, the refinement of moral concepts, and the capacity to apply our moral view to particular situations. Here I suggest that there is an importantly different and largely overlooked role for the arts in moral thought: an ability to reconfigure the structure of our moral thought and effect what we might call a revolution in that framework. In (...)
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  8. Reason and respect.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    This chapter develops and defends an account of reason: to reason is to scrutinize one’s attitudes by consulting the perspectives of other persons. The principal attraction of this account is its ability to vindicate the unique of authority of reason. The chapter argues that this conception entails that reasoning is a robustly social endeavor—that it is, in the first instance, something we do with other people. It is further argued that such social endeavors presuppose mutual respect on the part of (...)
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  9.  50
    Reason unbound: Kant's theory of regulative principles.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):575-592.
    It is an essential part of Kant's conception of regulative principles and ideas that those principles and ideas are in a certain sense indeterminate. The relevant sense of indeterminacy is cashed out in a section in the Antinomies where Kant says that the regress of conditions of experience forms not a “regressus in infinitum” but a “regressus in indefinitum.” The mathematics that Kant appears to rely on in making this distinction turns out to be problematic, as Jonathan Bennett showed long (...)
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  10. Morality, Agency, and Other People.Kenneth Walden - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    Constitutivists believe that we can derive universally and unconditionally authoritative norms from the conditions of agency. Thus if c is a condition of agency, then you ought to live in conformity with c no matter what your particular ends, projects, or station. Much has been said about the validity of the inference, but that’s not my topic here. I want to assume it is valid and talk about what I take to be the highest ambition of constitutivism: the prospect of (...)
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  11. Kantian constructivism.Julia Markovits & Kenneth Walden - 2021 - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. New York:
    Theories of reasons and other normativia can seem to lead ineluctably to a tragic dilemma. They can be personal but parochial if they locate reasons in features of the point of view of actual people. Or they can be objective but alien if they take reasons to be mind-independent fixtures of the universe. Kantian constructivism tries to offer the best of both worlds: an account of normative authority anchored in the evaluative perspectives of actual agents but refined by a procedure (...)
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  12. Incomparable numbers.Kenneth Walden - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 10.
    This chapter presents arguments for two slightly different versions of the thesis that the value of persons is incomparable. Both arguments allege an incompatibility between the demands of a certain kind of practical reasoning and the presuppositions of value comparisons. The significance of these claims is assessed in the context of the “Numbers problem”—the question of whether one morally ought to benefit one group of potential aid recipients rather than another simply because they are greater in number. It is argued (...)
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  13.  4
    Mores and Morals: Metaethics and the Social World.Kenneth Walden - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 417-430.
    Anyone who has taught an introductory ethics course has found themselves having to explain that some important words can be used in different ways. There is the way social scientists talk when they refer to the norms of a Balinese cockfight, the values of early modern scientific culture, and the morality of Bolsheviks. This chapter examines the possibility that the social aspects of morality might tell us something important about what morality must be, and thus inform our metaethics. It reviews (...)
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  14.  7
    The relativity of ethical explanation.Kenneth Walden - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6.
    Ethical theory is an explanatory endeavor, but until recently relatively little attention has been paid to the question of what makes for an adequate ethical explanation. This chapter argues that like explanation generally, ethical explanation is relativized to a contrast space: it is not a two-place relation between an explanandum and an ethical theory, but a three-place relation involving a background framework that, among others things, specifies a contrast space. The chapter then draws two morals from this thesis. The first (...)
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  15.  28
    On Taking Stances.Bas van Fraassen & Kenneth Walden - 2005 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (2):86-102.
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  16. The sublime Clara Mather.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Portraits and Philosophy. New York:
    Kant says that there is a close affinity between the sublime and moral feelings of respect. This suggests a relatively unexplored way that aesthetic experience could be morally improving. We could come to respect persons by experiencing them as sublime. Unfortunately, this is not at all our ordinary experience of people, and it’s not clear how one would come to it. In this paper I argue that this possibility is realized in the portraits of Thomas Eakins. Through a handful of (...)
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  17.  12
    Agency and normativity.Kenneth Walden - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Agency. New York:
    Some philosophers posit a connection between normativity and agency. This connection allows us to infer propositions about what we ought to do or what reason we have to do from the conditions of action. This chapter considers arguments for this connection. In particular, the chapter argues that not only do the conditions of generic agency have important normative implications for us, but so too do the conditions of narrower, more contingent, and more local kinds of agency. Finally, objections to this (...)
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  18.  10
    The radical demand in Løgstrup's ethics, by Robert Stern. Oxford University Press, 2019, ISBN: 9780198829027, 362+xii pp, $98.00 hbk. [REVIEW]Kenneth Walden - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):433-435.
    European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 433-435, March 2022.
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  19.  10
    Nature, agency, and the nature of agency.Kenneth Walden - 2018 - Philosophical Inquiries 6 (2).
    I examine skeptical arguments about the constitutive nature of agency, with special attention to those of Elijah Millgram. I suggest that these arguments lead us not to the conclusion that agency has no such nature, but that it is an essentially contested kind in the same way that art is. I argue that this undermines traditional forms of constitutivism in metaethics but opens the door to a different way of pursuing the same program. Finally, I take issue with Millgram’s solution (...)
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  20.  20
    L. Nandi Theunissen, The Value of Humanity. [REVIEW]Kenneth Walden - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):808-812.
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  21.  33
    Aesthetics: A Reader in the Philosophy of the Arts, 4th edition, edited by David Goldblatt, Lee B. Brown, and Stephanie Patridge. [REVIEW]Kenneth E. Walden - 2019 - Teaching Philosophy 42 (2):171-172.
  22.  22
    Essays in Moral Scepticism, by Richard Joyce. [REVIEW]Kenneth Walden - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):935-944.
    Essays in Moral Scepticism, by JoyceRichard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xi + 288.
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  23. Review of Robert Audi, Means, Ends, and Persons: The Meaning and Psychological Dimensions of Kant's Humanity Formula. [REVIEW]Kenneth Walden - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2016.
     
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  24.  35
    On Taking Stances.Kenneth Walden - 2005 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (2):86-102.
  25.  13
    Aaron Zimmerman, Moral Epistemology (London: Routledge, 2010), 246 pp. Hardback: ISBN: 0415485533, $140.00/£80.00. Paperback: ISBN: 0415485541. $35.95/£23.99. [REVIEW]Kenneth Walden - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5):695-696.
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