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By In Featured Philosophers, Normative Ethics, Value Theory Comments (13)

Uniqueness (by Gwen Bradford)

I’m happy to introduce our current Featured Philosophy, Gwen Bradford, who teaches at Rice University and has written a creative and insightful book on achievement.  Her post today is on the nature and value of uniqueness.  Please comment with your thoughts about the interesting new territory that Gwen is exploring!

Uniqueness

I have been thinking about uniqueness and its relationship to value.

The issue first arises in one of the important moments in value theory. The orthodox conception of intrinsic value as value strictly in virtue of intrinsic properties was questioned by counterexamples pointing to extrinsic properties generating what’s plausibly intrinsic value. Monroe Beardsley in 1965 wrote this:

One inconvenience of this definition can be brought out as follows: A sheet of postage stamps has been misprinted – the central figure, say, is inverted. …[but] its value is not for the sake of anything else. (Beardsley 1965: 61-62).

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By In Featured Philosophers, Metaethics, Value Theory Comments (23)

Expressivism without Minimalism

By Tristram McPherson

It is a striking fact that many of the most recently influential expressivists (e.g. Simon Blackburn, Allan Gibbard, Mark Timmons) have embraced minimalist accounts of words such as ‘truth,’ ‘fact,’ and ‘property.’ And others have argued that embracing minimalism is indispensable for the expressivist. In this post, I argue that expressivists can and should resist the idea that they are forced to embrace minimalism.

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Coming Featured Philosopher: McPherson on Expressivism without Minimalism

I am happy to announce our next Featured Philosophy post.  On next Thursday, October 5th,  Tristram McPherson (Ohio State University) will be sharing his post “Expressivism without Minimalism”.  Please swing by then to join the discussion!

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By In Experimental Philosophy, Featured Philosophers, Ideas, Moral Psychology Comments (8)

‘I Love Women’: The Conceptual Inadequacy of ‘Implicit Bias’ (by Yao and Reis-Dennis)

Hi everyone! Thanks very much for the opportunity to discuss our work-in-progress, “‘I Love Women’: The Conceptual Inadequacy of ‘Implicit Bias.’”

Tests for implicit bias, in particular the Implicit Association Test (IAT), have recently come under scrutiny. Two different meta-analyses, by Oswald et al. (2013) and Forscher et al. (2016) (recently discussed in the Chronicle of Higher Education) have concluded that measurements of “implicit bias” do not reliably predict biased behavior.

In our paper, we offer a different critique of implicit bias testing, one which philosophers and other humanistic thinkers might be well-suited to address. We argue that the dominant implicit bias tests assume crude and implausible conceptions of explicit prejudice, leaving open the possibility that the morally bad and wrong actions supposedly best explained by something interestingly implicit are instead best explained by non-obvious but nonetheless explicit prejudice.[i]

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Coming Featured Philosopher post on The Conceptual Inadequacy of ‘Implicit Bias’

I am happy to announce our next Featured Philosophy post.  On next Wednesday, September 6th,  Vida Yao (Rice) and Samuel Reis-Dennis (Johns Hopkins) will be sharing their post titled ‘I Love Women’: The Conceptual Inadequacy of ‘Implicit Bias’”.  Please swing by then to join the discussion!

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By In Featured Philosophers Comments Off on Featured Philosophers & The Moral Demands of Patriotism

Featured Philosophers & The Moral Demands of Patriotism

I am happy to announce the Featured Philosophers series will be running on a regular basis again and that it will now include more early career philosophers and advanced graduate students.  The first post by Derek Baker (Lignan University) will go up Monday, August 7th and it will be titled “Why Bad People Will Find It Hard to Be Patriotic”.  Please swing by then to join the discussion.

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By In Featured Philosophers, Ideas, Metaethics, Practical reasons Comments (41)

Roles Ground Reasons; so Internalism is False (by Reid Blackman)

Hi everyone, and thanks to PEA Soup for providing this forum and inviting me to contribute.

1. The Issue

Standard theories on normative reasons rarely mention roles* and their attendant reasons and obligations, and when roles are mentioned, they are accorded derivative normative significance.  The particulars of the theories vary wildly, but the general picture they give is as follows: while there are standards for what constitutes a good parent (and a good doctor, friend, citizen, and so on), these standards are not normative, where ‘normative’ means or entails ‘reason-giving’. The standards of a role ground reasons for its members – the standards become normative – only if some other, more foundational, normative conditions are met. So occupying a role need play no important role in a theory of practical reason. But here, I offer arguments in support of the following thesis.

Role Thesis: By virtue of occupying a role, and by that alone, one has reason to do that which is conducive to achieving the ends of that role and obligations to refrain from doing that which defies the ends of that role.

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