Posts Tagged Ethics

A Non-Review & A Critique of Critiques of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

How does one “review” an essay on being black? One cannot. To do so implies that there is something fictitious, something fabricated, that can and ought to be altered in the recollections of a man trying to convey black-embodiment to any who will listen. And yet there have been many critiques of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recently […]

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Morality in Reservoir Dogs

I revisited one of my favorite films recently, the fiendishly repugnant, Reservoir Dogs, after a chance hearing of “Little Green Bag” in a commercial, the musical number that, over the opening credits, takes the audience from the pre-burglary breakfast to the post-burglary bloodbath. In reading some reviews and papers on the film, I noticed that […]

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The Is/Ought Gap pt. II: On Its Implications for Reductionism and Intuitionism

I’ve very much enjoyed the excellent discussions that have been occurring in the comments section of my recent post on the Is/ought gap. All of the commentators have been provocative and informative, but Larry posted some fantastically critical remarks of two positions I was advancing in that post, (I) that the is/ought thesis has no […]

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The Is/Ought Gap: It’s real but doesn’t pose a problem for “scientific moralists”

In the past two weeks I’ve stumbled upon blog entries that argued for a “scientific morality”, and in doing so challenged the “is/ought thesis”, which seems to be a rite of passage to be a naturalist these days. Unfortunately, the writers misunderstand the “is/ought” thesis, and so their arguments against it fail (but both entries […]

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Review of Mark Timmons’ Morality Without Foundations pt III (of III): on Timmons’ Contextualist Epistemology

Timmons then turns to matters of moral epistemology, arguing for a contextualist epistemology that borrows from foundationalist and coherentist views to develop an account of how regular persons can have justified moral beliefs – a criterion that he says the other epistemological views don’t take seriously enough. Timmons notes, before getting things going, that he […]

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Utilitarianism, Supererogatory Acts and the Demands of Morality

James Gray has posted a very interesting piece on the compatibility of act utilitarianism and supererogatory actions, a portion of which I want to discuss here. Supererogatory acts are those acts that would promote the most good, but which one is not morally required to do because of the large personal sacrifices they require. This type […]

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Review of Mark Timmons’ Morality Without Foundations pt II (of III): on Timmons’ Contextualist Semantics

Timmons initiates his presentation of his positive view in a thorough chapter on contextualist moral semantics, first providing a general introduction to the semantic program. In contrast to the correspondence view of truth (the view of realists), for a sentence to be true according to contextual semantics is for it to have correct assertibility, where […]

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“Frank is not a bad person though he does bad actions?” (Reblog)

Originally posted on The Horizon and The Fringe:
There is a lovely blog called AusomeAwestin, and for the purposes of this post, I will address the author as Awestin. I cannot tell to whom the blog belongs, but nobody just writes on Mark Timmons in metaethics without at the very least being either a graduate…

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Review of Mark Timmons’ Morality Without Foundations pt I (of III)

Mark Timmons’ Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism is an indispensable contribution to contemporary metaethics, as it challenges deeply engrained assumptions of the field to articulate a new and exciting theory of moral irrealism. The book proceeds by articulating the criteria by which a metaethical theory must succeed; how the (at the time) […]

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Thoughts on Ethical Vegetarianism pt II (the “all things are alive” response and moral motivation)

I’ve been engaging in some debate on the moral merits of a vegetarian diet and in doing so I’ve found myself frequently responding to the interesting argument that runs: all things are alive, so a vegetarian diet is not morally better than an omnivorous diet. I say it is an interesting argument not because it […]

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