Posts Tagged W.D. Ross

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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Notes on Robert Audi’s Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character, pt V: Conclusion

Conclusion “The Moral Justification of Actions and the Ethical Character of Persons” In this concluding essay, Audi makes further points on how a Rossian intuitionistic pluralism can be supplemented with Kant’s categorical imperative. A moral theory can be normatively complete on two levels, the first being that the theory accounts for the diversity of moral […]

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Notes on Audi’s Moral Knowledge & Ethical Character, pt I: Moral Epistemology

I’ve frequently criticized virtue ethics on this blog, so it seems worthwhile to comment on Robert Audi’s theories on moral realism, which seek to integrate an Aristotelian virtue conception into an otherwise intuitionistic Kantianism (or Kantian intuitionism; Audi admits either description of his view works, but as his epistemology is intuitionistic for the most part, […]

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Review of “Ethical Intuitionism: Re-Evaluations”

Ethical Intuitionism: Re-evaluations I tend to shy away from anthologies, as such collections often bring together essays not in proper dialogue (as opposed to an author’s dialogue with himself throughout the course of his book); this collection is an exception, most likely due to the narrow focus on a epistemological view in morality. In fact, […]

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Genetically Modified Babies (and moral duties, harm, and moral disagreement)

The Washington Post reports that the FDA has begun reviewing a process of canceling out genetically inherited diseases by creating embryos with three genetic parents. While the article explains the science and the history of the process quite well, it fails to go into detail about the “ethical issues” posed by such a process, though […]

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The Ethics of Love (care ethics, partiality, and pluralism)

With Valentine’s day upon us, now seems a good time to touch on a metaethical view I have on the whole neglected: care ethics, a moral methodology based in love. It’s an interesting approach to morality arguing that the most basic and preliminary ethical relationship is between a mother and her child, such that our […]

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McNaughton on W.D. Ross (and Particularism, Pluralism and the double weighing of duties)

One of the more interesting broad questions of metaethics is whether we can expect to craft moral theories that provide principles for right action that serve as guiding decision procedures. Moral pluralists argue that we can have a list of criteria for what makes actions right, but from there we must use practical judgment to […]

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On Moral Realism and Mind-Independence (and complex, non-natural properties)

Among non-natural moral realists there is a fascinating debate over whether basic moral properties, such as the properties of ‘goodness’ and ‘rightness’, are simple or complex properties. It is a fruitful debate to have, particularly because it seems many objections to non-naturalism have been against non-naturalist views that posit that ‘good’ is a simple property, […]

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Tsarnaev (and capital punishment, the morality of the death penalty, and equivocation)

The Justice Department has announced that it will seek the death penalty against the surviving Boston bomber, 20 year old, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Now seems a good time to consider the arguments for whether the death penalty is a just punishment. I recognize, of course, that the Justice Department might be pursuing the death penalty in […]

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Is Surveillance by the NSA Just? (deontology, Kant, Ross, and the priority of the right)

To say that there has been a vociferous response to the continuing revelations of surveillance conducted by the NSA might be to state the facts mildly; there has been heated debate in the public sphere on the matter, culminating in a presidential address yesterday declaring that (modest) changes would be made. President Barack Obama’s remarks […]

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