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By In Featured Philosophers, Moral Responsibility Comments (11)

Featured Philosopher: Julia Markovits

Very pleased to be able to introduce our next Featured Philosopher, my Upstate friend, Julia Markovits. Take it away Julia:

Thanks so much for inviting me to contribute!

I’m currently working on a book about praise- and blameworthiness.  One thing I’ll have something to say about in the book is how to understand degrees of praise- and blameworthiness In the book, I defend a kind of quality-of-will account, according to which one dimension of moral worth tracks the extent to which we are (or fail to be) motivated to act by the reasons that would make something the right thing to do.  (I’ve defended this claim before, in my paper “Acting for the Right Reasons” (Philosophical Review, 2010).)  That thesis gives us the tools to account for one kind of variation in degree of moral worth, since our motivating reasons can overlap more or less with the normative reasons that apply to us.

But this notion of degrees of overlap can’t explain some variations in degree of moral worth than seem to have a lot of intuitive support.  For example (as I argued in another paper, “Saints, Heroes, Sages, and Villains, Philosophical Studies, 2012), it can’t explain what makes so-called “heroic” actions especially praiseworthy, since both heroic and ordinary actions may exhibit perfect overlap between the reasons motivating their performance and the normative reasons justifying them.

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By In Featured Philosophers, Metaethics Comments (9)

Featured Philosopher: Errol Lord

Very pleased to be able to introduce today’s Featured Philosopher, Errol Lord. Take it away Errol:

The following is based on joint work with Kurt Sylvan (see our paper ‘Reasons: Wrong, Right, Normative, Fundamental’, which is forthcoming in Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy. I wrote this, though, so all mistakes belong to me.

There are few substantive claims about normative reasons that everyone can get on board with. Here is one candidate: there is a correlation between certain normative properties and the existence of certain normative reasons. So, for example, whenever someone is admirable, there are normative reasons to admire that person. Whenever something is desirable, there are normative reasons to desire it. The list could go on. To be clear, this is not to say (yet) that we can analyze admirability or desirability in terms of normative reasons. This just posits a correlation.

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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

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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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