Here, at the View from the Owl’s Roost.
This post is partly a “bleg” and partly an invitation for people to give their two cents on what strikes me as a very deep and important divide among moral theorists.
Consider so-called “common-sense morality”. It consists of claims like, “It’s wrong to take someone else’s property”; “You shouldn’t handle others’ bodies without their consent”; “The job should go to the person who deserves it”; “Academic censorship is wrong because it goes against the very purposes of the university”; “It’s worse to do harm than to merely allow it to occur”; “You shouldn’t make a promise that you don’t intend to keep”; etc. It gets called “common-sense” mainly because it’s thought to capture the moral leanings of the person on the street. But it’s also fair to call it “common-sense” just because of the way it conceptually carves the world for evaluation in terms of “should”, “worse”, and so on — namely, in terms of “property”, “consent”, “job”, “point”, “do/allow”, “promise”, “intend”. These are common-sense conceptualizations because they are the conceptualizations that common-sense morality employs.
Ethics Discussion at PEA Soup: Michael Cholbi and Alex Madva’s, “Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition,” with a critical précis by Erin Kelly
Welcome to what we expect will be a very interesting and productive discussion of Michael Cholbi and Alex Madva‘s, “Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition.” The paper is published in the most recent edition of Ethics and is available through open access here. Erin Kelly has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis, and it appears immediately below. Please join in the discussion!
Erin Kelly writes:
Michael Cholbi and Alex Madva’s paper, “Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition,” argues that capital punishment wrongs black defendants and black communities, and that the proper remedy for this wrong is abolition of the death penalty. In developing this argument, they make an interesting case for understanding the racial wrongs of capital punishment in political terms—as instances of distributive injustice—rather than (simply) in terms of a failure to achieve retributive justice. I will explore both the nature of their claims about distributive justice and their criticism of retributive justice. I won’t address the case for abolition, which flows naturally from their conclusions about the harm done by the death penalty. Instead I will suggest, briefly, how their argument against the retributive theory could be stronger.
We are excited to announce the return of the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy discussion! This time we’ll look at Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin’s “A View of Racism: 2016 and America’s Original Sin”, with a critical précis by Tommy Curry.
The discussion starts March 19th. As JESP is always open-access, you can check out the paper here. Please join us next Monday!
Welcome to what should be a fun and enlightening discussion of Kate Norlock‘s “Can’t Complain” (which the Journal of Moral Philosophy has generously provided free access to throughout the weekend). Mariana Alessandri has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis, which appears immediately below. Please join the discussion!
Nomy Arpaly writes: “Aristotle doesn’t talk about the Moral Person. He talks about the Cool Dude!”
See where that takes us at Nomy’s blog here.
When was the last time you read an Anthropology article or book? Did you know that there is a recent “Ethical turn” in anthropology and that anthropologists are writing interesting things about moral development, practical reasoning, virtue, autonomy, and other moral topics – all with reference to specific cultural contexts and practices?
If you are like me only a little while ago, you have never heard of the ethical turn because current anthropology is simply not on your radar. And that is why I am posting! I think this might be of interest to many philosophers, but especially to graduate students.