Normative Ethics
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By In Discussions, JMP Discussions, Normative Ethics Comments (32)

Journal of Moral Philosophy Discussion at PEA Soup: Molly Gardner’s “On the Strength of the Reason Against Harming,” with a critical précis by Fiona Woollard

Welcome to what will surely be an incredibly interesting and productive discussion of Molly Gardner‘s excellent paper “On the Strength of the Reason Against Harming.” This paper was published in the first issue of this year’s Journal of Moral Philosophy. They have kindly provided free access to the paper, which can be viewed or downloaded here. Fiona Woollard has written a critical précis, which is included below. Please join today’s discussion!

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By In Ideas, Moral Psychology, Normative Ethics, Reasons and rationality Comments (15)

Can psychopaths make judgments of worth?

There’s a longstanding dispute about whether psychopaths are morally responsible. For our purposes, just stipulate that psychopaths are blind to moral reasons, that is, they lack moral, or normative, competence. There’s not much disagreement on this point (for psychopaths who score very highly on the Hare Checklist). The disagreement, instead, is over whether normative competence is necessary for moral responsibility. Suppose a psychopath sees that hitting you with a baseball bat will cause you pain, but he does it anyway because it’s fun. So, it’s thought, he judges hitting you to be worth doing, and he also judges that your interests don’t matter. Isn’t that sufficient to ground apt moral blame, and so sufficient for his being morally responsible?

Or so a school of thought goes (represented by Tim Scanlon, Angela Smith, Matt Talbert, and Pamela Hieronymi). What matters is that the psychopath at least has the rational capacity to form judgments of worth, i.e., make evaluative judgments of reasons. If he does, then it doesn’t matter if he’s blind to one subset of reasons; he’s still blameworthy for judging that the bad thing is worth doing and judging that other considerations don’t matter.

I want to try out an argument against this stance and see what you think.

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By In Normative Ethics, Uncategorized Comments (2)

Favorite papers on: Perfectionism or Neo-Aristotealian Ethics

Hoping folks will share with the group their favorite papers on the topic of Perfectionism or Neo-Aristotelian Ethics. Perhaps people might add what level they think the paper is most appropriate for (grad seminar, undergrad intro, etc.). A short explanation of what the paper says or what makes it great might be useful as well.

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By In Metaethics, Normative Ethics, Uncategorized Comments (6)

Favorite readings on: Subjectivism

Hoping folks will share with the group their favorite papers on the topic of subjectivism. Perhaps people might add what level they think the paper is most appropriate for (grad seminar, undergrad intro, etc.). A short explanation of what the paper says or what makes it great might be useful as well.

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By In Favorite Papers, Normative Ethics Comments (5)

Favorite papers on: Kantian Ethics

Hoping folks will share with the group their favorite papers on the topic of Kantian ethics. Perhaps people might add what level they think the paper is most appropriate for (grad seminar, undergrad intro, etc.). A short explanation of what the paper says or what makes it great might be useful as well.

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By In Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup, Normative Ethics Comments (4)

Ethics Discussion at PEA Soup: Cheshire Calhoun’s “On Being Content with Imperfection,” with a critical précis by Glen Pettigrove

Welcome to what we expect will be a very interesting and productive discussion of Cheshire Calhoun’s “On Being Content with Imperfection.” The article was published in the most recent issue of Ethics and is available through open access here. Glen Pettigrove has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis, and it appears immediately below. Please join in the discussion!

Chike Jeffers (more…)

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By In Normative Ethics, Uncategorized Comments (15)

Favorite readings on: Consequentialism

We ask folks to share with the group their favorite papers on the topic of consequentialism. Perhaps people might add what level they think the paper is most appropriate for (grad seminar, undergrad intro, etc.). A short explanation of what the paper says or what makes it great might be useful as well.

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