dunnettreader + morality-objective   32

Richard McCarty, review - Kenneth Westphal, Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity without Debating Moral Realism (2016) | Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 2016
Published: July 20, 2016

Kenneth R. Westphal, How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity without Debating Moral Realism, Oxford University Press, 2016, 252pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198747055. - Reviewed by Richard McCarty, East Carolina University - gives high marks for way he approaches history of philosophy and current relevance, though thinks he's unfair to Hume and very untidy in how he applies his version of Kant - comment about re Pufendorf as predecessor to Hume's approach is useful - see quote and cite
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  moral_philosophy  natural_law  morality-objective  morality-conventional  moral_sentiments  morality-divine_command  obligation  constructivism  contractualism  Hume-ethics  Kant-ethics 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
(107) NOW Published: How Hume
How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity  without Debating Moral Realism, Clarendon Press (2016)
Front matter including both overview TOC and very detailed TOC plus introductory chapter -- He explains in the intro how both Hume and Kant (via Rousseau) pursued "moral constructivist" approaches using a (modified) "natural law" framework - after Hume had successfully attacked weaknesses in traditional approach to natural law. Notes that "justice" traditionally one of the 2 branches of moral philosophy (the other ethics). He's especially concerned with failure of "business ethics " as cause of financial crisis and Great Recession - but "business ethics" meaningless without a framework of "Justice." His target audience includes lawyers and legal/jurisprudence students and scholars - he thinks legal positivism and legal realism has run out of steam. He returns to accountancy standards in final chapter. -- pdf is the same material as kindle sample -- downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
books  legal_system  constructivism  morality-objective  justice  legal_theory  norms  accountability  legal_realism  18thC  norms-business  downloaded  moral_sentiments  moral_economy  jurisprudence  morality-conventional  legal_positivism  accounting  moral_realism  moral_psychology  Hume  kindle-available  natural_law  moral_philosophy  morality  Kant 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Louis Pinto - Le débat sur les sources de la morale et de la religion (2004) - Cairn.info
Après la Grande Guerre, le ralliement d’une partie de la droite conservatrice à un régime désormais doté d’une légitimité guerrière et patriotique a pour effet de modifier sensiblement la définition des vertus républicaines jusqu’alors associée à l’alliance entre la démocratie et la science, qui caractérise le durkheimisme aussi bien que l’idéologie laïque. Cette évolution se reflète en partie dans le champ philosophique : dans le livre Les Deux sources de la morale et de la religion (1932), Bergson entend se situer sur les terrains de prédilection de la sociologie durkheimienne. Les oppositions majeures de sa métaphysique se trouvent appliquées à la société, la célèbre opposition entre le « clos » et l’« ouvert » permettant de renvoyer les sociologues du côté du légalisme et de l’utilitarisme étroits, et d’attribuer des qualités nobles et novatrices à des « héros ». On s’intéresse ici à la riposte d’Albert Bayet qui est simultanément celle d’un professeur rationaliste défendant l’héritage des Lumières, celle d’un sociologue d’inspiration durkheimienne et celle d’un militant de la laïcité non résigné à se voir dépouillé de valeurs comme la générosité et l’enthousiasme. Après avoir contesté aussi bien la notion de morale ouverte que l’individualisme métaphysique, il montre le lien entre les prises de position théoriques et leurs conséquences politiques.
cosmology  comparative_religion  cultural_authority  spirituality  intelligentsia  Durkheim  evolution-as-model  sociology_of_knowledge  morality-conventional  Bergson  psychology  utilitarianism  downloaded  political_culture  phenomenology  James_William  social_theory  declinism  France  social_sciences  entre_deux_guerres  irrationalism  morality-divine_command  social_order  article  intellectual_history  politics-and-religion  conservatism  morality-objective 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Muel-Dreyfus - La rééducation de la sociologie sous le régime de Vichy (2004) - Cairn.info
Les polémiques contre la sociologie durkheimienne ont une longue histoire qui remonte aux attaques contre la Nouvelle Sorbonne et à l’affaire Dreyfus. En ce sens, elles font partie de l’« inconscient d’école » propre à l’univers académique français dont ce qu’on pourrait appeler l’« inconscient anti-sociologique » est une des composantes. Leur réactivation sous le régime de Vichy tient à la conjonction de plusieurs facteurs : la mise en œuvre d’une politique scolaire conservatrice qui assimile sociologie/pédagogie/« esprit primaire » dans sa condamnation de l’école républicaine ; la reconquête d’une influence de l’enseignement libre qui vitupère la morale laïque inspirée par la sociologie ; l’expansion d’une science sociale réduite à l’expertise au service de l’ordre moral – psychosociologie de la famille et sociobiologie des « inadaptations » notamment. Ces courants différents ont en commun de refuser toute idée d’historicisation et de détermination sociale des faits, des institutions, des croyances et des destins collectifs ou individuels au profit de différentes formes de naturalisation du social et de différentes idéologies du « don naturel » dont la convergence en période de crise, propice au retour de la raison mythique, impose l’idée d’une éternité de cette vision du mon
conservatism  morality-objective  Vichy  social_order  norms  France  downloaded  article  social_sciences  Catholics-and-politics  Durkheim  intellectual_history  sociology_of_knowledge  20thC  hierarchy  cultural_authority  education  19thC  laïcité  cultural_history  social_theory  political_culture 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Odile Henry and Hervé Serry, « La sociologie, enjeu de lutes. » (2004)
Henry Odile, Serry Hervé, « La sociologie, enjeu de lutes. », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 3/2004 (no 153) , p. 5-10 URL : www.cairn.info/revue-actes-de-la-recherche-en-sciences-sociales-2004-3-page-5.htm. DOI : 10.3917/arss.153.0005. Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
19thC  article  progress  morality-conventional  intellectual_history  pre-WWI  Catholics-and-politics  social_theory  social_sciences  anticlerical  relativism  morality-objective  ultramontane  France  downloaded  entre_deux_guerres  republicanism  Fin-de-Siècle  Durkheim  laïcité  morality-divine_command  rationalist 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - The Death of God and the Death of Morality [Nietzsche] :: SSRN - September 16, 2015
University of Chicago -' Nietzsche famously proclaimed the "death of God," but in so doing it was not God's death that was really notable -- Nietzsche assumes that most reflective, modern readers realize that "the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable" (GS 343) -- but the implications of that belief becoming unbelievable, namely, "how much must collapse now that this faith has been undermined," in particular, "the whole of our European morality" (GS 343). What is the connection between the death of God and the death of morality? I argue that Nietzsche thinks the death of God will undermine two central aspects of our morality: its moral egalitarianism, and its belief in moral responsibility and warranted guilt. I offer an account of how Nietzsche sees the connections, and conclude with some skeptical considerations about whether Nietzsche was right that atheism would, in fact, undermine morality. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 25 -- Keywords: Nietzsche, theism, morality -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  moral_philosophy  religious_belief  religious_culture  19thC  Nietzsche  theism  atheism  God-existence  moral_psychology  morality-Nietzche  morality-divine_command  morality-Christian  morality-conventional  morality-objective  Kant-ethics  egalitarian  guilt  norms  obligation  responsibility  free_will  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, review - Christian Emden, "Nietzsche's Naturalism: A Critical Assessment" :: SSRN - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 22, 2015
I review and evaluate the intellectual historian Christian Emden's recent book Nietzsche's Naturalism: Philosophy and the Life Sciences in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Topics addressed include: the meaning of naturalism; the relationship between substantive and methodological versions of naturalism and physicalism and other reductionisms; the role of Kant and NeoKantians like Lange and Helmholtz in Nietzsche's philosophy; the actual role of the life sciences in Nietzsche's naturalism; and what is involved in a naturalistic account of normativity. --PDF File: 12 pgs --- Keywords: Nietzsche, Kant, Lange, naturalism, physicalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  intellectual_history  19thC  German_scholars  Nietzsche  naturalism  materialism-19thC  Kant  neo-Kantian  Lange_FA  biology  Helmholtz  normativity  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  morality-objective  human_nature  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicola Lacey - Jurisprudence, History, and the Institutional Quality of Law (Symposium - Jurisprudence and (Its) History) | Virginia Law Review - 101 Va. L. Rev. 919 (2015)
A cri de coeur for putting legal theory and history back together with social theory and empirical social sciences,. -- In the early part of my career, legal history and the history of legal ideas were closed books to me, as I made my way in a field of criminal law scholarship dominated by doctrinal scholarship and by concept-focused philosophical analysis of the foundations of criminal law. These 2 very different paradigms have 1 big thing in common: They tend to proceed as if the main intellectual task is to unearth the deep logic of existing legal doctrines, not infrequently going so far as to read them back onto history, as if things could never have been other than they are. (..)I have increasingly found myself turning to historical resources (1) [to examine] the contingency of particular legal arrangements, and (2) ...to develop causal and other theses about the dynamics which shape them and hence about the role and quality of criminal law as a form of power in modern societies. So, in a sense, I have been using history in support of an analysis driven primarily by the social sciences. (..) it is no accident that all of the great social theorists, from Marx to Foucault via Weber, Durkheim, and Elias, ..have incorporated significant historical elements into their interpretations .... Indeed, without the diachronic perspective provided by history (or the perspective offered by comparative study) we could have no critical purchase on social theory’s characterizations of or causal hypotheses about the dynamics of social systems. Hence, (...) my boundless gratitude to the historians whose meticulous research makes this sort of interpretive social theory possible). -- Lacey is not over-dramatizing -- see the "commentary" from a "legal philosopher" who believes the normative basis of criminal responsibility can be investigated as timeless "moral truths". -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  social_theory  historical_sociology  historical_change  institutions  institutional_change  philosophy_of_law  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_social_science  jurisprudence  legal_theory  analytical_philosophy  concepts  morality-conventional  morality-objective  criminal_justice  responsibility  mind  human_nature  norms  power-asymmetric  power-symbolic  power  Neoplatonism  neo-Kantian  a_priori  historiography  intellectual_history  political_philosophy  political_culture  moral_philosophy  evidence  mental_health  social_order  epistemology  epistemology-moral  change-social  change-intellectual  comparative_law  comparative_anthropology  civil_liberties  women-rights  women-property  rights-legal  rights-political  access_to_services  discrimination  legal_culture  legal_system  legal_reasoning  Foucault  Marx  Weber  Durkheim  metaethics  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Kimberly Kessler Ferzan - Of Weevils and Witches: What Can We Learn from the Ghost of Responsibility Past? A Commentary on Lacey's "Jurisprudence, History, and the Institutional Quality of Law" | Virginia Law Review - 101 Va. L. Rev. 947 (2015)
Lacey's article (..) criticizes the scholarship on criminal responsibility for being too concerned with “its conceptual contours and moral foundations,” “rather than with what it is for[:] its social roles, meaning, and functions.” Here is what she is arguing against. There are theorists, myself included, who think of questions of responsibility in philosophical terms. These moral truths are not socially or historically contingent; they are constant questions to which we seek answers. (..) In some ways, this is a (boring) methodological debate. What I care about as responsibility is not what she cares about as responsibility. -- YIKES -- Apart from the travesty of equating legal norms with "moral truths," this looks like moral realism run amok -- the questions may be "constant" but who gets to frame the Qs, what values are doing the framing (blood money, retribution, restitution, prevention, hierarchy reinforcement, group purification), what anthropology and epistemology implicitly govern the framing (universal depravity, trial by ordeal, women's testimony is unreliable?), the defined criteria (lower orders don't have honor they can defend, husbands can't commit rape), how criteria are to be applied, by whom (civil vs religious authority, manor courts vs king's law, lie detector operators, NSA algorithms?) -- "Philosophical" inquiry is limited to *a priori* concerns, and "philosophical" answers are limited to eternal Platonic "moral truths". But if normative Qs & As are by definition not contingent on changing institutions and social assumptions re behavior, what's's the foundation for her inquiry process? Armchair "fine-grained" intuitions re "mental states"? So do we get new "moral truths" along with the each new neuroscience study? "Proof there's no free will!"="moral truth" (let everybody out of jail?) and next month "Latest study finds the free will spot"=oops, new eternal "moral truth" (can we test it like DNA?) -- Analytic philosophy rediscovering Aristotelian categories is bad enough, but analytic neo-Platonic anthropology gets me actively hostile, and it's even more absurd if we're talking about criminal law -- didn't download
article  analytical_philosophy  a_priori  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  jurisprudence  criminal_justice  biocultural_evolution  human_nature  moral_psychology 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Steve Shapin - The Virtue of Scientific Thinking | Boston Review - Jan 2015
scientific reeearch may not make you more vitruous, or scientists as a group better people, but the disenchantment (severing assumed link between divine design of the cosmos and our ability to learn more and better understand how man fits in) described hy Weber in Vocation priduces a few worrisome trends. One is the hubris of "playing God" scientism, The Sam Harris and Steve Pinker types that think science can explain enough about hiw humans got to whete we are and how we function in modernity to be philosopher-kings on defining moral values and how our political and social structures should operate for what ends. The other disturbing consequence of cutting the link is the loss of discipline via internalized norms of the religious and miral worth of disinyetested inquiry. As profit and funding increasingly drive all levels of scientific research, and the rnds are increasingly narrowed to technology that can be exploited for profit or power (or both in the military-industrial-( academia) complex, what's to distinguish scientists from bankers. The foundation of trust in scientific results is at extreme risk. The only positive, which ashapin doesn't drvelop, is scepticism re the trustworthiness of the scientific enterprise may threaten the future of the planet via climate change, but few will be eager to put their trust in tge claims of the candidates nominating themselves as philosopher-kings.
Social_Darwinism  Pocket  cosmology  18thC  morality  virtue  scientism  post-WWII  moral_philosophy  17thC  21stC  19thC  history_of_science  mioitary-industrial_complex  20thC  cultural_history  Cold_War  morality-objective  curiosity  is-ought  natural_theology  norms  Reformation  intellectual_history  sociology_of_knowledge  morality-conventional 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Scott Hershovitz - The End of Jurisprudence :: SSRN - Oct 2014
Via Brian Tamanaha -- Scott Hershovitz, University of Michigan Law School -- Yale Law Journal, Forthcoming -- For more than forty years, jurisprudence has been dominated by the Hart-Dworkin debate. The debate starts from the premise that our legal practices generate rights and obligations that are distinctively legal, and the question at issue is how their content is determined. Positivists say that their content is determined ultimately or exclusively by social facts. Anti-positivists say that moral facts must play a part in determining their content. In this Essay, I argue that the debate rests on a mistake. Our legal practices do not generate rights and obligations that are distinctively legal. At best, they generate moral rights and obligations, some of which we label legal. I defend this view by drawing analogies with other normative practices, like making promises, posting rules, and playing games. And I try to explain why it looks like legal practices generate distinctively legal rights and obligations even though they do not. I conclude with some thoughts about the questions jurisprudence should pursue in the wake of the Hart-Dworkin debate. -- Number of Pages: 63 -- Keywords: jurisprudence, H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Hart-Dworkin Debate, legal positivism, anti-positivism, philosophy of law
paper  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  jurisprudence  Hart  Dworkin  judiciary  legal_theory  legal_culture  legal_realism  legal_reasoning  sociology_of_law  normativity  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  morality-objective  legal_validity  rights-political  rights-legal  natural_law  Wittgenstein  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Law's Evolution and Law as Custom by William A. Edmundson :: SSRN
William A. Edmundson, Georgia State University College of Law -- 51 San Diego L. Rev. (December 2014, Forthcoming). -- Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-15 -- Legal discourse centrally involves a family of normative expressions – “obligation,” “right,” “permission,” and so on – whose surface grammar parallels that of moral discourse. Is the normativity of legal discourse then a moral normativity? Or is it a distinct type of normativity altogether? (..) Custom is among the sources of law. That much is agreed. But custom can also be law, independently of promulgation, or so many believe. (..) Insofar as a customary norm is (or becomes) a legal norm, does it manifest (or acquire) a different kind of normativity? Or does its original normativity contribute to the normativity of law? Another set of questions has to do with custom as a condition of legal validity. [Different positions of Kelsen and Hart] I will explore the hypothesis that every legally normative utterance resolves into one expressing (a) custom-implicating moral normativity, (b) custom-extending moral normativity, or (c) normativity “in the manifesto sense” (to enlist a phrase of Joel Feinberg’s). If this is correct, there is no such thing as a distinctively legal brand of normativity. -- No. Pages: 30 -- Keywords: legal theory, legal philosophy, philosophy of law, normativity, norm, custom, validity, moral, desuetudo, moral philosophy -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  jurisprudence  legal_history  legal_theory  legal_culture  sociology_of_law  legal_realism  legal_reasoning  normativity  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  morality-objective  legal_validity  norms  custom  customary_law  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE FALL OF MAN | Pandaemonium July 2014
Transcript of talk for Institute of Ideas -- The moral vision of modernity may have been, in other words, nourished by the crumbling of the God-ordained order. It was – it had to be – however, also rooted in faith, but a faith of a different kind – faith that humans were capable of acting rationally and morally without guidance from beyond. It was through the 19thC that religious faith truly began to crumble. But it was also in the 19thC that faith in the human capacity to act without God began also to erode. The optimism that had once suffused the humanist impulse began to ebb away and there began to develop a much darker view of what it meant to be human. By the late 19thC European societies came to experience both a crisis of faith and a ‘crisis of reason’, the beginnings of a set of trends that were to become highly significant in the 20thC – the erosion of Enlightenment optimism, a disenchantment with ideas of progress, a disbelief in concepts of truth, the growth of a much darker view of human nature. -- The death of God, in other words, went hand in hand with what we might call, if we were to continue to use religious symbolism, the Fall of Man. And the Fall of Man transformed the meaning of the Death of God. God is a metaphor for the desire for an authority beyond ourselves to frame our existence and guide our lives, the death of God for the insistence on acting without guidance from beyond. There are two aspects to the death of God. The decline of religious belief and the growth of a new faith in the capacity of humans to act without guidance from beyond. The first has always been overstated. The second has always been undervalued. - frames talk around Anscombe and MacIntyre
intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  morality-Christian  religious_belief  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  pagans  gods-antiquity  monotheism  teleology  human_nature  morality-conventional  morality-objective  progress  Enlightenment  Fin-de-Siècle  humanism  anti-humanism  Counter-Enlightenment  political_philosophy  reason  Anscombe  MacIntyre  tradition  identity  autonomy  individualism  community  communitarian  social_order  change-social  historical_change  historicism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Michael LeBuffe - SPINOZISTIC PERFECTIONISM | JSTOR: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4 (OCTOBER 2010), pp. 317-333
Perfectionism seems to imply simply capable of improvement -- explains Spinoza's Ethics as differing from the virtue ethics sort as not based on something like the essence of humans -- the article gives an outline of what he thinks are the attractive features of Spinoza's moral_philosophy disentangled from some of the more obscure or less plausible parts of Spinoza's system, while recognizing that since Spinoza is a super systematic philosopher, some of his metaphysical concepts are key to his moral_philosophy, which LeBuffe attempts to spell out -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  17thC  20thC  21stC  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  virtue_ethics  virtue  good  hedonistic  happiness  improvement  perfectibility  Spinoza  morality-conventional  morality-objective  perspectivism  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Objectivity, Morality and Adjudication :: SSRN In OBJECTIVITY IN LAW AND MORALS, Brian Leiter, Cambridge University Press, 2001
Two familiar features of Dworkin's theory of adjudication generate a strange predicament. Dworkin maintains that most cases, including most "hard" cases, have "right answers." Yet he also argues that to discover that right answer, judges must avail themselves of moral considerations and moral argument: a party's rights follow from the principle which explains some significant portion of the prior institutional history and provides the best justification for that institutional history as a matter of political morality. Yet if morality is, as many seem to think, "subjective" in some sense, then there may be as many right answers as a matter of morality as there are judges and thus, consequently, no single right answer as a matter of law. Dworkin's response asks us to distinguish between sensible, but defeasible, "internal" attacks on the objectivity of morality, from unintelligible, and irrelevant, "external" attacks on the objectivity of morality. Dworkin's internal/external distinction may be usefully recast as two competing paradigms of objectivity. ... by the "Naturalistic Conception," objectivity in any domain must be understood on the model of the natural sciences, whose objects of study are objective in the sense of being "mind-independent" and causally efficacious. The "Non-Naturalistic Conception," by contrast, denies that the type of objectivity found in the natural sciences is the relevant type of objectivity to aspire to in all domains. Dworkin's version of Non-Naturalism bears a striking similarity to John McDowell's. I conclude that neither version provides an adequate account of objectivity: they fail to explain basic intuitions about objectivity (even in ethics), as well as leaving us with a picture of the "objectivity" of ethics that would, in fact, be quite congenial to the non-cognitivism that both McDowell and Dworkin purport to have left behind. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
books  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  moral_philosophy  metaethics  morality-objective  objectivity  legal_validity  naturalism  epistemology-moral  reason-passions  reasons  reasons-internalism  reasons-externalism  judiciary  bibliography  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Waldron - What are Moral Absolutes Like? (2011) :: SSRN
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 11-62 -- This paper (originally presented as the Harvard Review of Philosophy Annual Guest Lecture in April 2011) explores the challenges involved in stating, characterizing and defending moral absolutes. The first part of the paper looks at the formulation of moral absolutes: must we assume that they are simple, directly prescriptive or prohibitive, not loaded with thick moral terms (as in "Do not kill the innocent"), etc? The paper compares the formulation of moral absolutes with the formulation of legal absolutes. And it considers some philosophical work on the subject, by Anscombe, Hare, Kant, and Finnis. The second part of the paper examines the ways in which moral absolutes – such as the rule against torture – deal with the burden of the humanitarian considerations arrayed against them in e.g. "ticking bomb" hypotheticals. ...the most powerful challenge is that posed by Bentham ... who imagined that torturing one person may be the only way to save hundreds of people from being tortured. -- ...opponents of torture have made things too easy for themselves in just focusing on how bad (depraved, brutal, violative, etc.) torture really is. ..., the paper indicates a number of possible lines of inquiry – one in particular involving the idea of "tainted goods," -- and a number of other lines are explored. Along the way, the paper takes a couple of sly kicks at something called "threshold deontology." But at the end, ... much more work to be done. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  moral_philosophy  metaethics  morality-objective  rights-legal  norms  torture  Anscombe  Finnis  Kant-ethics  morality-divine_command  deontology  consequentialism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Moral Skepticism and Moral Disagreement in Nietzsche (2013) :: SSRN - Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 9 (Oxford University Press, 2014)
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 257 -- This essay offers a new interpretation of Nietzsche's argument for moral skepticism.., an argument that should be of independent philosophical interest as well. On this account, Nietzsche offers a version of the argument from moral disagreement, but, unlike familiar varieties, it does not purport to exploit anthropological reports about the moral views of exotic cultures, or even garden-variety conflicting moral intuitions about concrete cases. Nietzsche, instead, calls attention to the single most important and embarrassing fact about the history of moral theorizing by philosophers over two millennia: namely, that no rational consensus has been secured on any substantive, foundational proposition about morality. Persistent and apparently intractable disagreement on foundational questions, of course, distinguishes moral theory from inquiry in the sciences and mathematics (perhaps in kind, certainly in degree). According to Nietzsche, the best explanation for this disagreement is that, even though moral skepticism is true, philosophers can still construct valid dialectical justifications for moral propositions because the premises of different justifications will answer to the psychological needs of at least some philosophers and thus be deemed true by some of them. The essay concludes by considering various attempts to defuse this abductive argument for skepticism based on moral disagreement and by addressing the question whether the argument "proves too much," that is, whether it might entail an implausible skepticism about a wide range of topics about which there is philosophical disagreement. -- Keywords: Nietzsche, morality, skepticism, metaethics, anti-realism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  morality-Nietzche  morality-conventional  morality-critics  scepticism  human_nature  metaethics  epistemology-moral  foundationalism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Bix - Raz on Necessity (last revised 2009 ) :: SSRN - Law and Philosophy, vol. 22, pp. 537-559 (2003)
The article uses Joseph Raz's work as the starting point for a general discussion of the role of necessity and essence in jurisprudence. Analytical legal theorists commonly assert (or assume) that they are offering conceptual truths, claims regarding attributes necessarily true of all legal systems. Is it tenable to speak about necessary truths with a humanly created institution like law? Upon closer investigation, the use of necessary truths in writers like Raz and Jules Coleman clearly differs from the way such terms are used in classical metaphysics, and even in contemporary discussions of natural kind terms. Nonetheless, theorists making conceptual statements regarding law are making significant and ambitious claims that need to be defended - for example, against naturalists like Brian Leiter, who doubt the value of conceptual analysis, and normative theorists like Stephen Perry, who argue that assertions about the nature of law require value-laden moral and political choices between tenable alternatives. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  analytical_philosophy  concepts  metaphysics  modal_logic  possible_worlds  universalism  universals  natural_kinds  natural_law  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  morality-conventional  normativity  essence  naturalism  legal_realism  philosophy_of_language  Raz  positivism-legal  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Bix - Contract Rights and Remedies, and the Divergence between Law and Morality (last revised 2011) :: SSRN - Ratio Juris, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 194-211, June 2008
There is an ongoing debate in the philosophical and jurisprudential literature regarding the nature and possibility of Contract theory. On one hand are those who argue (or assume) that there is, or should be, a single, general, universal theory of Contract Law, one applicable to all jurisdictions and all times. On the other hand are those who assert that Contract theory should be localized to particular times and places, perhaps even with different theories for different types of agreements. This article considers one facet of this debate: evaluating the relevance of the fact that the remedies available for breach of contract can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. This wide variation in remedies for breach of a (contractual) promise is one central difference between promises in morality and enforceable agreements in law. The article asserts that variation of remedies strongly supports the conclusion that there is (and can be) no general, universal theory of Contract Law. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  legal_culture  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  morality-objective  natural_law  contracts  constructivism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Christopher Cowley - A New Defence of Williams's Reasons-Internalism (2005) | Philosophical Investigations - Wiley Online Library
Williams's classic 1980 article ‘Internal and External Reasons’ has attracted much criticism, but, in my view, has never been properly refuted. I wish to describe and defend Williams's account against three powerful criticisms by Michael Smith, John McDowell and Tim Scanlon. In addition, I draw certain implications from Williams's account – implications with which Williams would not necessarily agree – about the nature and the role of the personal in ethics. Williams's insight, that a reason (including a moral reason) must find purchase in an agent's ‘subjective motivational set’ if it is to function as a reason at all, undermines a central assumption of many moral philosophers, realists and non-cognitivists alike: that there exists a singular objective realm of moral facts and moral reasons supervening on the situation before the agent. According to this assumption, if two people facing that situation disagree about whether one of them has reason to Φ, then at least one of them must be mistaken. I reject this assumption and defend Williams's account, while pointing at ways in which the account might be developed. While the internalism-externalism debate itself is well-worn, there is still something new and important that can be gleaned from it. -- added to Wiley
article  paywall  Wiley  moral_philosophy  reasons-internalism  reasons-externalism  reasons  morality-objective  motivation  moral_psychology  moral_sentiments  Williams_Bernard 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenneth R. Westphal - Enlightenment Fundamentals: Rights, Responsibilities & Republicanism | Diametros
Kenneth R. Westphal is Professorial Fellow in the School of Philosophy, University of East Anglia (Norwich), and currently Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg. -- This essay re-examines some key fundamentals of the Enlightenment regarding individual rights, responsibilities and republicanism which deserve and require re-emphasis today, insofar as they underscore the character and fundamental importance of mature judgment, and how developing and fostering mature judgment is a fundamental aim of education. These fundamentals have been clouded or eroded by various recent developments, including mis-guided educational policy and not a little scholarly bickering. Clarity about these fundamentals is more important today than ever. Sapere aude! -- Keywords - Hobbes Hume Rousseau Kant Hegel, rational justification, mature judgment, moral constructivism, realism objectivity rights responsibilities republicanism media culture, Euthyphro question, natural law, Dilemma of the Criterion -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  19thC  British_history  French_Enlightenment  Germany  German_Idealism  voluntarism  obligation  morality-conventional  morality-objective  natural_rights  civil_liberties  civil_society  civic_virtue  Hobbes  Hume  Hume-ethics  Hume-politics  Rousseau  Kant  Kant-ethics  Hegel  judgment-political  public_sphere  media  political_culture  values  education-civic  education-higher  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add  21stC  Dewey  Quine  Sellars  analytical_philosophy  academia  professionalization 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
The Question of Certainty by John Dewey (1929)
Source: The Quest for Certainty (1933), publ. Capricorn Books, 1960. -- Chapter II - Philosophy's Search for the Immutable -- The failure and frustration of actual life is then attributed to the fact that this world is finite and phenomenal, sensible rather than real, or to the weakness of our finite apprehension, which cannot see that the discrepancy between existence and value is merely seeming, and that a fuller vision would behold partial evil an element in complete good. Thus the office of philosophy is to project by dialectic, resting supposedly upon self-evident premises, a realm in which the object of completest cognitive certitude is also one with the object of the heart's best aspiration. The fusion of the good and the true with unity and plenitude of Being thus becomes the goal of classic philosophy. -- Practical activity is dismissed to a world of low grade reality. Desire is found only where something is lacking and hence its existence is a sign of imperfection of Being. Hence one must go to passionless reason to find perfect reality and complete certitude. But nevertheless the chief philosophic interest is to prove that the essential properties of the reality that is the object of pure knowledge are precisely those characteristics which have meaning in connection with affection, desire and choice. After degrading practical affairs in order to exalt knowledge, the chief task of knowledge turns out to be to demonstrate the absolutely assured and permanent reality of the values with which practical activity is concerned! Can we fall to see the irony in a situation wherein desire and emotion are relegated to a position inferior in every way to that of knowledge, while at the same time the chief problem of that which is termed the highest and most perfect knowledge is taken to be the existence of evil-that is, of desires errant and frustrated?
etexts  Dewey  pragmatism  epistemology  ontology  Great_Chain_of_Being  Platonism  idealism-transcendental  Hegelian  evil  theodicy  certainty  desire  moral_philosophy  values  morality-objective  morality-conventional  moral_psychology  epistemology-social  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 17]: SCIENCE, NIHILISM & MORALITY | Pandaemonium - June 2012
This extract is from the section that unpacks Alex Rosenberg’s arguments about morality in his book The Atheist’s Guide to Reality. -- For Mackie, cultural variations in moral norms provided evidence for the truth of nihilism. Rosenberg, on the other hand, finds that evidence in the lack of cultural variation in the most important values, in the existence of a core, shared morality. Leaving aside the question of whether nihilism itself is a plausible account of moral life, it is possible that both Mackie and Rosenberg are right about moral norms. It is not implausible that humans posses a small number of evolved, shared moral beliefs, surrounded by an ocean of culturally variable norms. -- The debate about the degree to which moral norms are shared across cultures and the extent to which they vary remains unresolved. A century ago the argument for cultural variation held sway. More recently the idea of an evolved set of cultural and moral universals found favour. There are signs now of a swing back in the pendulum; recent research has plausibly, if controversially, claimed that even traits that had seemed unquestionably evolved and universal – such as facial expressions, for instance, or language – may be far more culturally varied than once thought. Given this debate, Rosenberg is not giving a scientific account of how natural selection may have shaped our moral norms, but is rather telling a story, a story of the kind he is so dismissive about in histories, biographies, the humanities and literature, but one that is often less persuasive because he seems so cavalier with both fact and observation.
books  reviews  kindle-available  moral_philosophy  intellectual_history  morality-objective  morality-conventional  morality-innate  evo_psych  evolution-social  metaethics  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 16]: MORALITY’S SUBJECTIVE TURN | Pandaemonium
the unravelling of morality in the 20thC, from the intuitionism of GE Moore to JL Mackie’s ‘error theory’ and moral nihilism. This extract begins with Moore and looks at how intuitionism gave way to emotivism. -- Like moral truths themselves, Prichard clearly saw his case as self-evident and intuitive. The idea of moral truths as intuitions harked back to the English Platonists of the 18thC. Prichard’s essay helped give those ideas new traction, launching the Cambridge Intuitionist school, that included WD Ross, EF Carritt, WHB Joseph and CD Broad. For each of the Intuitionists the good was self-evident. The trouble was that the goods that were self-evident were not the same to all of them. Since no empirical fact or rational argument could settle this debate, ..so the very notion of moral truth began to disintegrate. -- ‘Questions as to “values”’, Bertrand Russell wrote, ‘lie wholly outside the domain of knowledge.’ So arose ‘emotivism’, first sketched by AJ Ayer in his groundbreaking 1936 book Language, Truth and Logic -- Like Hume, Ayer insisted that when we talk of right and wrong we are not directly referring to things in the world but to our own attitudes towards these things. --The American philosopher Charles L Stevenson developed the emotivist argument, especially in his 1944 book Ethics and Language.-- GE Moore was no emotivist, nor thought that values were simply subjective. Yet the argument he set running in the Principia Ethica led inexorably to Stevenson’s emotivism. -- To suggest that slavery is a good would be more than simply ‘odd’. The trouble with emotivism is that it finds it difficult – nay, impossible – to capture this distinction.
intellectual_history  20thC  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  morality-conventional  analytical_philosophy  morality-objective  EF-add  metaethics  utilitarianism  obligation  Logical_Positivism  Cambridge_Platonists 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Richard Joyce - Is Moral Projectivism Empirically Tractable? | JSTOR: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Feb., 2009), pp. 53-75
Vol. 12, No. 1, Empirically Informed Moral Theory -- downloaded pdf to Note -- Different versions of moral projectivism are delineated: minimal, metaphysical, nihilistic, and noncognitivist. Minimal projectivism (the focus of this paper) is the conjunction of two subtheses: (1) that we experience morality as an objective aspect of the world and (2) that this experience has its origin in an affective attitude (e.g., an emotion) rather than in perceptual faculties. Both are empirical claims and must be tested as such. This paper does not offer ideas on any specific test procedures, but rather undertakes the important preliminary task of clarifying the content of these subtheses (e.g., what is meant by "objective"? what is meant by "experience"?). Finally, attention is given to the relation between (a) acknowledging that the projectivist account might be true of a token moral judgment and (b) maintaining moral projectivism to be true as a general thesis. -- starts with 17thC and 18thC philosophy, especially Hume
article  jstor  intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  morality-objective  morality-conventional  moral_sentiments  consciousness  mind  cognition  17thC  18thC  Hume  empiricism  downloaded  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
David Enoch - How Is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism? | JSTOR: The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2009), pp. 15-50
Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to realism, but not one we have any reason to believe realism cannot address successfully. Others beg the question against the moral realist, and yet others raise serious objections to realism, but ones that—when carefully stated—can be seen not to be essentially related to moral disagreement. Arguments based on moral disagreement itself have almost no weight, I conclude, against moral realism. -- extensive bibliography, as he works his way through his arguments it's a quasi literature survey on relativism, moral realism, objectivity and moral epistemology. --downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  metaethics  epistemology-moral  objectivity  morality-objective  lit_survey  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
David Enoch - Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come from What Is Constitutive of Action | JSTOR: The Philosophical Review, Vol. 115, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 169-198
Enoch is a moral realist - Clearest target is Korsgaard who herself is answering scepticism. Probably useful in sorting out realist and anti-realist, internalist vs externalist, varieties of scepticism, and varieties of action-theory. Didn't download
article  jstor  metaethics  morality-objective  action-theory  norms  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Ella Myers - From Pluralism to Liberalism: Rereading Isaiah Berlin | JSTOR: The Review of Politics, Vol. 72, No. 4 (FALL 2010), pp. 599-625
The relationship between pluralism and liberalism has been at the center of recent considerations of Isaiah Berlin's thought. In particular, liberal theorists have asked whether the value pluralism Berlin endorses actually undermines his liberalism. A common interpretive approach resolves this problem by presenting Berlin's pluralism as "limited" rather than "radical," and therefore capable of serving as a moral foundation authorizing liberalism. I challenge this re-construction of Berlin's work, arguing that such readings are premised on a conception of judgment Berlin does not share. While many of his readers believe that a judgment on behalf of liberalism requires the identification of a transcontextual ground, Berlin invites us to see human judgment as a meaningful practice that occurs in the absence of absolutes yet does not simply mirror local norms. Berlin's defense of liberalism models this kind of judgment—a judgment that is neither mandated, nor ruled out, by pluralism. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  morality-objective  liberalism  pluralism  relativism  Berlin_Isaiah  anti-foundationalism  practical_knowledge  phronesis  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - WHO NEEDS GOD? | Pandaemonium February 2012
What I want to concentrate on today, however, is on the first type of argument. And that is because for me, as it is for many other atheists, this is the primary motivation for my atheism – I simply do not see the necessity for God.

There are three kinds of reasons often given for the necessity of God. First, there is the claim that God is necessary to explain Creation and the maintenance of the cosmos. Second, that God is a necessary source of moral values; that without God we would fall into the abyss of moral nihilism. And third, that without belief in God, there can be no purpose or meaning to life. Let us look at each of these claims in turn.
intellectual_history  theology  atheism  God-existence  God-attributes  voluntarism  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  morality-conventional  Biblical_criticism  Bible-as-history  Aquinas  cosmology  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
John Dewey: The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct | George Herbert Mead Project
John Dewey. "The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct", Philosophical Review 11, (1902): 353-371.

I would have those who deny moral significance to the historical method show how we may guide and control the formation of our further moral judgments if we forego inquiry into the process of their formation as historically set before us....... The point of the genetic method is then that it shows relationships, and thereby at once guarantees and defines meaning. We must take the history of any intuition or attitude of moral consciousness in both directions: both ex parte ante and ex parte post. We must consider it with reference to the antecedents which evoked it, and with reference to its later career and fate. It arises in a certain context, and as a reaction to certain circumstances ; it has a subsequent history which can be traced. It maintains and reinforces certain conditions, and modifies others. It becomes a stimulus which provokes new modes of action. Now when we see how and why the belief came about, and also know what else came about because of it, we have a hold upon the worth of the belief which is entirely wanting when we set it up as an isolated intuition. Pure intuitionalism. is often indeed undistinguishable from the crassest empiricism. The ' intuition' is declared to be a content of 'reason,' but reason is a mere label. The ordinary relation and criteria of rationality are expressly eliminated. Quite likely we have deified the results of a merely accidental history or series of circumstances. The only way to introduce reasonableness is to analyze in detail the course of events from which the intuition results, and to trace in further detail the influences that radiate from it. There is much ground for John Stuart Mill's basis of opposition to intuitionalism -- it tends to perpetuate prejudice and sanctify conservatism by calling them eternal truths of reason, and thus to erect barriers in the way of moral progress.
article  online_texts  Dewey  19thC  20thC  intellectual_history  US_history  moral_philosophy  intuitionism  values  reason  history-as_experiment  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  genealogy-method  morality-objective  morality-conventional  epistemology-moral  progress  pragmatism  culture  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader

related tags

17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  academia  access_to_services  accountability  accounting  action-theory  analytical_philosophy  ancient_Greece  ancient_philosophy  Anscombe  anti-foundationalism  anti-humanism  anticlerical  Aquinas  archaeology  article  atheism  audio  authority  autonomy  a_priori  Bergson  Berlin_Isaiah  Bible-as-history  Bible-as-literature  Biblical_authority  Biblical_criticism  Biblical_exegesis  bibliography  biocultural_evolution  biology  books  British_history  British_politics  Cambridge_Platonists  Catholics-and-politics  certainty  change-intellectual  change-social  China  civic_virtue  civil_liberties  civil_society  cognition  Cold_War  communitarian  community  comparative_anthropology  comparative_law  comparative_religion  concepts  Confuscianism  consciousness  consequentialism  conservatism  constructivism  contextualism  contracts  contractualism  cosmology  Counter-Enlightenment  criminal_justice  cultural_authority  cultural_exchange  cultural_history  culture  curiosity  custom  customary_law  declinism  deontology  desire  Dewey  discrimination  downloaded  Durkheim  Dworkin  education  education-civic  education-higher  EF-add  egalitarian  empiricism  Enlightenment  entre_deux_guerres  epistemology  epistemology-moral  epistemology-social  essence  etexts  ethics  evidence  evil  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  evo_psych  Fin-de-Siècle  Finnis  Foucault  foundationalism  France  free_will  French_Enlightenment  French_language  fundamentalism  genealogy-method  Germany  German_Idealism  German_scholars  globalization  God-attributes  God-existence  gods-antiquity  good  Great_Chain_of_Being  guilt  happiness  Hart  hedonistic  Hegel  Hegelian  Helmholtz  hierarchy  historical_change  historical_sociology  historicism  historiography  history-as_experiment  history_of_science  Hobbes  humanism  human_nature  Hume  Hume-ethics  Hume-politics  idealism-transcendental  identity  improvement  individualism  institutional_change  institutions  intellectual_history  intelligentsia  interview  intuitionism  irrationalism  is-ought  James_William  jstor  juddgment-moral  judgment-political  judiciary  jurisprudence  justice  Kant  Kant-ethics  kindle-available  Lange_FA  laïcité  legal_culture  legal_history  legal_positivism  legal_realism  legal_reasoning  legal_system  legal_theory  legal_validity  liberalism  lit_survey  Logical_Positivism  MacIntyre  Marx  materialism-19thC  media  mental_health  metaethics  metaphysics  mind  mioitary-industrial_complex  modal_logic  monotheism  morality  morality-Christian  morality-conventional  morality-critics  morality-divine_command  morality-innate  morality-Nietzche  morality-objective  moral_economy  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  moral_realism  moral_reform  moral_sentiments  motivation  naturalism  natural_kinds  natural_law  natural_rights  natural_theology  neo-Kantian  Neoplatonism  Nietzsche  normativity  norms  norms-business  objectivity  obligation  Old_Testament  online_texts  ontology  pagans  paper  paywall  perfectibility  perspectivism  phenomenology  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_language  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_social_science  phronesis  Platonism  pluralism  Pocket  political_culture  political_philosophy  politics-and-religion  popular_culture  positivism-legal  possible_worlds  post-WWII  power  power-asymmetric  power-symbolic  practical_knowledge  practical_reason  pragmatism  pre-WWI  professionalization  progress  psychology  public_sphere  Quine  rationalist  Raz  reason  reason-passions  reasons  reasons-externalism  reasons-internalism  Reformation  relativism  religion-fundamentalism  religious_belief  religious_culture  religious_history  republicanism  responsibility  reviews  rights-legal  rights-political  Rousseau  sacred_texts  scepticism  scientism  Sellars  Social_Darwinism  social_order  social_sciences  social_theory  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_law  Spinoza  spirituality  SSRN  teleology  theism  theodicy  theology  torture  tradition  ultramontane  universalism  universals  usuable_past  US_history  utilitarianism  values  Vichy  virtue  virtue_ethics  voluntarism  Weber  Wiley  Williams_Bernard  Wittgenstein  women-property  women-rights 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: