By In Uncategorized Comments (4)

Slaves of the Passions (Part II)

In my first post, I pressed Mark’s defense of the bold Humean thought that, crudely, if someone has a desire, then there is reason for him to act in ways that will help satisfy it.  Let’s grant him that claim and move on.

There is an even larger worry in the offing: will Mark follow Hume in saying that someone could reasonably (or even ought to) choose scratching her finger over saving the world?  He would have to, if he said that a reason’s weight is proportional to the strength of the desire.  But that view, which Mark calls Proportionalism, is something he rejects.  In addition, he also rejects the usual neo-Humean attempts to blunt the counter-intuitiveness of Hume’s finger scratching claim – he does not define correct weighing in terms, e.g. of coherence or higher order desires.


Read more

By In Uncategorized Comments (52)

Slaves of the Passions (Part I)

I am reviewing (our own) Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the Passions for Ethics.  As the advance praise from Michael Smith and Stephen Darwall indicates, anyone interested in reasons and rationality will profit from reading this book.  In the book, Schroeder defends a novel Humean theory of reasons and maintains that his book is, “an existence proof of a viable reductive view of the normative.” (82) He also has interesting things to say about moral motivation, moral epistemology, and virtue.  The book is full of thought-provoking arguments that break new theoretical ground.

I will be posting a few main worries I have about his view and would be very grateful if you would help me be charitable and assess the seriousness of my worries.

This post will focus on MS’s response to what he calls “the too many reasons problem.”  Crudely put, the worry is that Humeans are committed to claiming that we have many more reasons than we actually do. 


Read more

By In Uncategorized Comments Off on Wanted: Expert Ethical Intuitions

Wanted: Expert Ethical Intuitions

Eric Schwitzgebel and Fiery Cushman are running a new version of the Moral Sense Test and they are especially interested in collecting responses from moral experts – those with graduate training in ethical or political theory.  Given the readership of this Blog, that probably includes you!

The test should take about 15-20 minutes, and Eric writes that people who have taken earlier versions of the Moral Sense Test, "have
often reported it interesting to think about the kinds of moral
dilemmas posed in the test."

If you have the extra time or want to procrastinate a bit, just click here.

Read more

By In Uncategorized Comments Off on CFP: Philosophic Methodology Conference

CFP: Philosophic Methodology Conference

The UT-Austin philosophy department is pleased to announce a week-long graduate student workshop on philosophical methodology, August 12 – August 16.

Possible workshop subtopics include (but are not limited to) intuition, conceptual analysis, reflective equilibrium, reduction, and ontological commitment.

Already confirmed speakers include Julia Driver (Dartmouth), Marc Moffett (Wyoming), Roy Sorensen (Dartmouth), Ernest Sosa (Rutgers), and a number of UT faculty.

We hope to accept around 10 outside graduate student participants.  If you are interested in applying, please see the website for details.

Read more