Normative Ethics

By In Ideas, Normative Ethics, Value Theory Comments (14)

Non-Welfarist Population Ethics (by Ralph Wedgwood)

Most contemporary work in population ethics operates within the framework of welfarism – the assumption that individual welfare is the fundamental value. But this framework is a straitjacket, leading population ethics into a labyrinth of sterile paradoxes. Once welfarism is rejected, a vastly more plausible approach to population ethics becomes available.

The approach that I favour involves a kind of perfectionism at the level of society. Of course, the welfare of individuals comes into the story. But as I shall explain, it is by no means the whole story.


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By In Announcements, Normative Ethics Comments Off on Arizona WiNE Menu is In!

Arizona WiNE Menu is In!

The Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethics (WiNE) is holding its 10th meeting in Tucson, January 3-5, 2019. The program is here.

Registration to attend is free and open to all. You may register to attend here. Mark Timmons, conference organizer, will send periodic updates to those who register.

Information about the Westward Look resort (where the workshop will be held) and about travel and accommodations is available on the workshop website.


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By In Call For Papers, Metaethics, Normative Ethics Comments Off on CFP: 4th Southampton-Humboldt Normativity Conference

CFP: 4th Southampton-Humboldt Normativity Conference

The fourth Southampton-Humboldt Normativity Conference will be held in Southampton from 19-21 June 2019. The conference aims to bring together philosophers working on normativity, including foundational problems of moral philosophy and practical normativity more generally, questions about reasons, rationality, and value, and issues about epistemic and other forms of normativity. Its primary aim is to provide a forum for lively and constructive exchange amongst philosophers currently working in the field.

The keynote speakers will be Justin D’Arms (Ohio State) and Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (Helsinki). The other papers will be selected on the basis of double-blind review of long abstracts (max. 1000 words). If you would like to apply, please submit your abstract, anonymised, to Tracy Storey ( by 1st February 2019. Abstracts should be suitable for a 30-40 minute presentation.

For more information, see here.

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By In Ideas, Metaethics, Value Theory Comments (28)

There is No Moral Vagueness

In this post, I shall argue for the conclusion that there is no such thing as moral vagueness. The argument rests on a certain assumption, which I myself believe to be true. The crucial assumption is that the fundamental ethical or normative concepts are all essentially comparative notions, like ‘__is better than__’ and ‘There is more reason for__than for__’, and the like.

If this assumption is true, there is no moral vagueness. The moral realm is as precise as the realm of mathematics. Locke’s notorious talk of “moral geometry” is to that extent entirely appropriate.

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By In Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup, Metaethics, Value Theory Comments (25)

Ethics Discussion at PEA Soup: Louise Hanson’s “Moral Realism, Aesthetic Realism, and the Asymmetry Claim,” with a critical précis by Alex King


Welcome to what we expect will be a very interesting and productive discussion of Louise Hanson‘s “Moral Realism, Aesthetic Realism, and the Asymmetry Claim.” The paper is published in the most recent edition of Ethics, and is available here. Alex King has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis, and it appears immediately below. Please join in the discussion!


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By In Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup, Metaethics, Uncategorized, Value Theory Comments Off on Upcoming Ethics review forum: Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts, reviewed by Raskoff

Upcoming Ethics review forum: Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts, reviewed by Raskoff

We’re pleased to announce our next Ethics review forum on Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP 2017), reviewed by Sarah Zoe Raskoff. Excerpts from the blurb and the review are below, but you can read both in their entirety via OUP’s website and Ethics, respectively. (Though of course, you are welcome to participate in the forum even if you haven’t read either. We get it: You’re busy; you’ve got things to do, places to be, normative concepts to choose.)

The forum will start on the morning of Friday October 12.




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By In NDPR Discussion Forum, Normative Ethics, Value Theory Comments (11)

NDPR Forum: Cheshire Calhoun’s Doing Valuable Time

Welcome to our NDPR review forum on Cheshire Calhoun’s Doing Valuable Time: The Present, the Future, and Meaningful Living (OUP 2018), reviewed by Valerie Tiberius. Please feel free to comment on any aspect of the book, the review, or the discussion below!


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