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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 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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By In Happiness, Ideas, Value Theory Comments (7)

Gwen Bradford: Pain’s Badness

There is surprisingly little discussion about pain’s badness in the philosophical literature. One might think that it falls naturally out of any of the various theories of well-being, but this is not so straightforward (as Shelly Kagan argues).[1] In recent work, I look at some ways pain’s badness can be explained. This post summarizes some of my arguments.

At first, the explanation for pain’s badness seems simple: it hurts! Ideally, an account of pain’s badness will appeal to pain’s feel in the explanation. It would be nice if that were all there were to it – pain is bad straightforwardly in virtue of the negative feeling tone. Call such a view dolorism. Straightforward dolorism is, however, too straightforward. It fails to allow for cases where pain is not intuitively bad. I will discuss one type of case. (Another, which I explain elsewhere, is a condition called pain asymbolia, in which patients report to experience pain but don’t find it bothersome.)

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By In Happiness, Ideas, Value Theory Comments (7)

Lorraine L. Besser: The Fundamental Value of the Interesting

Think of the most recent remarkable experience you’ve had. Perhaps it was reading an engrossing novel that opened your eyes to a new depth of poverty, stamina, and kindness. Perhaps it was attending a sporting event you thought would exemplify stereotypes on the basest level yet turned out to deliver an unexpected but welcome insight into empowerment and dedication. Perhaps it was a sappy movie that helped you to cry when you most needed it, and then to laugh it off, so that you emerge with a fresh emotional state. Perhaps it was simply the wrong turn you took when trying to get across town that led you to discover a playground full of Somali immigrants, dressed in beautiful colors, playing soccer.

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