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By In Featured Philosophers Comments Off on Featured Philosopher: Errol Lord (Thurs, Nov. 8)

Featured Philosopher: Errol Lord (Thurs, Nov. 8)

Don’t change that dial. We will have a discussion with Errol Lord on Thurs, Nov. 8th.

The remaining Featured Philosophers Schedule looks like this:

November 14: Julia Markovits

Dec 12: Alex Guerrero

January 28: Jonathan Quong

Feb 11: Heidi Maibom

Feb 18: Ellie Mason

Feb 25: Japa Pallikkathayil

March 7: Valerie Tiberius

March 20: Julia Driver

April 8: Hille Paakkunainen

April 22: Stephanie Leary

May 1: Luvell Anderson

May 13: Nate Sharadin

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By In Featured Philosophers Comments (10)

Preston Werner: “Ambitious Moral Perceptualism and Moral Knowledge from the Armchair”

This is the first in our new series of featured philosophers. Many more to come. For the schedule look here.

Ambitious Moral Perceptualism and Moral Knowledge from the Armchair

by Preston Werner

For a few years, I’ve been defending the view that all moral justification (realistically construed) bottoms out in the perceptual experience of moral properties.

There are many discussed objections to what I call the Ambitious Perceptualist view. Here, I want to think through some half-baked ideas about the relationship between Perceptualism and the role of thought experiments in moral deliberation and normative theorizing.

We (justifiably) use thought experiments in normative theorizing. But, the thought goes, this is not so for other domains whose epistemologies bottom out in perception. As Michael Milona (2018) puts it:

“[W]ith [empirical inquiry], we rely on actual experiments, evaluative inquiry only seems to require thought experiments…A theory which denies the possibility of evaluative knowledge by mere reflection is going to be highly revisionary; and many would rightly count such a commitment as a serious strike against the theory.” (more…)

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By In Featured Philosophers Comments Off on Featured Philosopher Series kicks off with Preston Werner on Halloween

Featured Philosopher Series kicks off with Preston Werner on Halloween

Preston Werner will discuss “Ambitious Moral Perceptualism and Moral Knowledge from the Armchair” on Halloween.

A reminder of the awesome lineup we have for our Featured Philosopher Series. Buckle up people and cancel all your other plans, because you need the time to get ready for this lineup:

October 31: Preston Werner (Philosophy Spooktacular!)

November 8: Errol Lord

November 14: Julia Markovits

November 28: Alex Guerrero

January 28: Jonathan Quong

Feb 11: Heidi Maibom

Feb 18: Ellie Mason

Feb 25: Japa Pallikkathayil

March 7: Valerie Tiberius

March 20: Julia Driver

April 8: Hille Paakkunainen

May 1: Luvell Anderson

 

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By In Featured Philosophers Comments Off on Upcoming Featured Philosophers Schedule

Upcoming Featured Philosophers Schedule

This continuing series at Soup involves selected philosophers telling us about important aspects of their past or current work and inviting discussion on it. This is one of my favorite features here at Soup and we are excited about the upcoming schedule.

We expect to schedule more in the coming weeks but y’all should obviously mark your calendars now.

October 31: Preston Werner (Halloween Non-Natural Properties Spooktacular!)

November 8: Errol Lord

November 14: Julia Markovits

(more…)

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By In The Real World Comments (21)

Michael McKenna: “Flake’s Mistaken Appeal to a Principle of Innocence”

This piece, written by Michael McKenna (Arizona), is intended as a kind of generally accessible op-ed in response to one aspects of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

Here now is McKenna:

Arizona’s United States Senator Jeff Flake has made a mistake. He should correct it. Just this morning [when this was written], as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Flake voted along party lines to advance to a full vote in the U.S. Senate the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. Flake cited the legal and ethical principle that a person should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. But Flake’s appeal to this principle to justify his vote is not ethically defensible. Let me explain.

As a general principle, Flake seems to assume, we should regard people as innocent until proven guilty. Whatever exactly that standard of proof involves, it requires stronger evidence than is required to justify believing something. Believing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and not Judge Brett Kavanaugh is consistent with lacking proof that Kavanaugh was guilty. That’s Flake’s way out. Nevertheless, it does not stand up to scrutiny. (more…)

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By In Academia, Uncategorized Comments (15)

The Unfortunate End-Game of Some Fraught Debates

It is a fraught topic of broad and not merely academic interest. Strong and hurt feelings abound. You have a view you work to hone and carefully articulate. Good and earnest people resist your view and argue against it. They may even suggest that it is a view unworthy of you. You remain unconvinced and argue back but manage to persuade few who did not start out on your side. You feel the polite condemnation of good and thoughtful people, yet you continue to think you are right. Perhaps you are even surprised people disagree with you on this topic. You try to be mindful of whose interests are primarily at stake and whose first-personal experience lends their views more authority in such contexts. You try to avoid defensively feeling like just because you have taken a public stand you cannot change your mind. You remind yourself you are not making a one-sided lawyerly case for a position but trying to reach a balanced overall assessment. You try to not let the mere professional status of those who argue with or against you unduly influence your thinking.  Others are joining your side but, or so it seems to you, less cautiously. The rhetoric and tone escalate around you. It seems the distinctions you were at pains to clarify are sometimes lost in some of the complaints about your view. You become agitated and start thinking “I can’t let this take over my day and this is getting unpleasant.”

Where do you go from there?

(more…)

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By In Uncategorized Comments (5)

Valuing Babies?

I would value your help in thinking about how to use the term “valuing”. In the disreputable circles I run in, people tend to say that valuing is a higher order attitude that babies, who admittedly have lots of desires, lack. Some say, for example that one’s valuings are expressed only in what you want yourself to want, or what you believe good, and babies will lack such complicated attitudes. This has led Eden Lin to say that subjective views have a problem in that the typical subjectivist views, which tend to claim the well-being or reasons determining attitude is a more complex higher order attitude, cannot capture the well-being of babies.

I think the word valuing is used to point toward our authentic evaluative take on the world. The heroin addict desires heroin but does not value it because her first order desire does not speak for her or express her evaluative point of view. But because creatures with an evaluative point of view can differ so widely in other ways, it seems to me which attitudes speak for an agent can differ quite widely as well. That is, I want to try out saying, what it is for different creatures to value something can be quite different depending on their capacities and depth of attitudes. A baby has a very simple evaluative point of view. They don’t second guess their initial instincts the way us sophisticates do. But still, there is a clear sense in which they care about stuff and have an evaluative point of view. (more…)

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