1. 31258.101607
    In his recent book The Value Gap (2021), Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen defends a pluralist view of final goodness and goodness-for, according to which neither concept is analysable in terms of the other. In this paper I defend a specific version of monism, namely so-called ‘Mooreanism’, according to which goodness-for is analysable partly in terms of final goodness. Rønnow-Rasmussen offers three purported counterexamples to Mooreanism. I argue that Mooreanism can accommodate two of them. The third is more problematic, but this is in the end not a decisive objection.
    Found 8 hours, 40 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 267609.101782
    In The Sources of Normativity, Korsgaard argues for what can be called “The Universality of Humanity Claim” (UHC), according to which valuing humanity in one’s own person entails valuing it in that of others. However, Korsgaard’s reliance on the claim that reasons are essentially public in her attempt to demonstrate the truth of UHC has been repeatedly criticized. I offer a sentimentalist defense, based on Adam Smith’s moral philosophy, of a qualified, albeit adequate, version of UHC. In particular, valuing my humanity, understood as (my awareness of) my perspective and the reasons determined from within it, entails valuing your humanity, understood as (your awareness of) your perspective and the reasons determined from within it. Given Korsgaard’s emphasis on the publicity of reasons in her argument for UHC, I also discuss the role of reasons in my account. I argue that the relative weights of at least some of an agent’s reasons are determined from within a shared evaluative point of view, namely, the standpoint of what Smith calls “the impartial spectator.” These reasons have normative authority over and constrain the agent’s private reasons, that is, those that are determined from within her own particular evaluative point of view.
    Found 3 days, 2 hours ago on Ergo
  3. 267666.101794
    In this paper, we do two things: first, we offer a metaphysical account of what it is to be an individual person through Hegel’s understanding of the concrete universal; and second, we show how this account of an individual can help in thinking about love. The aim is to show that Hegel’s distinctive account of individuality and universality can do justice to two intuitions about love which appear to be in tension: on the one hand, that love can involve a response to properties that an individual possesses; but on the other hand, what it is to love someone is not just to love their properties, but to love them as the distinct individual they are. We claim that Hegel’s conception of the relation between individuals and their properties, which relies on his account of the concrete universal, can resolve this tension and make sense of this aspect of love.
    Found 3 days, 2 hours ago on Ergo
  4. 269178.101802
    In this discussion, we look at three potential problems that arise for Whiting’s account of normative reasons. The first has to do with the idea that objective reasons might have a modal dimension. The second and third concern the idea that there is some sort of direct connection between sets of reasons and the deliberative ought or the ought of rationality. We can see that we might be better served using credences about reasons (i.e., creasons) to characterise any ought that is distinct from the objective ought than possessed or apparent reasons.
    Found 3 days, 2 hours ago on Daniel Whiting's site
  5. 344746.101809
    In the last couple of decades, the most prominent argument from evil is base on the idea that God couldn’t allow a gratuitous evil. Here is one way to define a gratuitous evil, paraphrasing Rowe: - E is gratuitous if and only if there is no greater or equal good G that is only obtainable by God if God permits E or something equal or worse. …
    Found 3 days, 23 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  6. 377752.101816
    This paper introduces the axiom of Negative Dominance, stating that, if a lottery f is strictly preferred to a lottery g, then some outcome in the support of f is strictly preferred to some outcome in the support of g. It is shown that, if preferences are incomplete on a sufficiently rich domain, then this plausible axiom, which holds for complete preferences, is incompatible with an array of otherwise plausible axioms for choice under uncertainty. In particular, in this setting, Negative Dominance conflicts with the standard Independence axiom. A novel theory, which includes Negative Dominance, and rejects Independence, is developed and shown to be consistent.
    Found 4 days, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 377773.101822
    I respond to Tim Smartt’s (2023) skepticism about epistemic blame. Smartt’s skepticism is based on the claims that i) mere negative epistemic evaluation can better explain everything proponents of epistemic blame say we need epistemic blame to explain; and ii) no existing account of epistemic blame provides a plausible account of the putative force that any response deserving the label “blame” ought to have. He focuses primarily on the prominent “relationship-based” account of epistemic blame to defend these claims, arguing that the account is explanatorily idle, and cannot distinguish between epistemically excused and epistemically blameworthy agents. I argue that Smartt mischaracterizes the account’s role for judgments of epistemic relationship impairment, leading to mistaken claims about the account’s predictions. I also argue that the very feature of the account that Smartt mischaracterizes is key to understanding what epistemic blame does for our epistemic responsibility practices that mere negative epistemic evaluation cannot.
    Found 4 days, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  8. 425556.101829
    For the many friends who’ve asked me to comment on the OpenAI drama: while there are many things I can’t say in public, I can say I feel relieved and happy that OpenAI still exists. This is simply because, when I think of what a world-leading AI effort could look like, many of the plausible alternatives strike me as much worse than OpenAI, a company full of thoughtful, earnest people who are at least asking the right questions about the ethics of their creations, and who—the real proof that they’re my kind of people—are racked with self-doubts (as the world has now spectacularly witnessed). …
    Found 4 days, 22 hours ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  9. 435429.101835
    This is an English translation of the records of Lu Cheng (Lu Cheng lu 陸澄錄) in the first volume (juan shang 卷上) of the Record of Instructions for Practice (Chuan xi lu 傳習錄). Wang Yangming’s followers kept records of statements he made and conversations he held when discussing his Ruist learning with them. During and after his lifetime, these records were compiled in one or more volumes and titled Record of Instructions for Practice (or something similar). Many versions, each with different content, were published over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some editions included a volume with a compilation of important correspondence and pedagogical writings. Among these, the three-juan version included in the
    Found 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  10. 435523.101841
    In the first volume of Law, Legislation and Liberty (1973, Chaps. 1 and 2), F.A. Hayek exposes his famous criticism of the constructivist (or rationalist) approach to human history. As Hayek puts it, the latter approach assumes that humans are fully rational and thus can construct perfect social institutions because reason can advise them on how to impeccably do so. In this regard, Hayek (1973, Chap. 1, p. 12) writes: “Complete rationality of action in the Cartesian sense demands complete knowledge of all the relevant facts. A designer or engineer needs all the data and full power to control or manipulate them if he is to organize the material objects to produce the intended result. But the success of action in society depends on more particular facts than anyone can possibly know. And our whole civilization in consequences rests, and must rest, on our believing much that we cannot know [Hayek’s italics] to be true in the Cartesian sense.”
    Found 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  11. 480320.101847
    Conflict over who belongs in women­only spaces is now part of mainstream political debate. Some think women­only spaces should exclude on the basis of sex, and others think they should exclude on the basis of a person’s self­determined gender identity. Many who take the latter view appear to believe that the only reason for taking the former view could be antipathy towards men who identify as women. In this paper, we’ll revisit the second­wave feminist literature on separatism, in order to uncover the reasons for women­only spaces as feminists originally conceived them. Once these reasons are understood, those participating in debates over women­only spaces will be in a better position to adjudicate on whether shifting from sex to gender identity puts any significant interests at stake.
    Found 5 days, 13 hours ago on Holly Lawford-Smith's site
  12. 493242.101854
    The alienation constraint on theories of well-being has been influentially expressed thus: ‘what is intrinsically valuable for a person must have a connection with what he would find in some degree compelling or attractive …. It would be an intolerably alienated conception of someone’s good to imagine that it might fail in any such way to engage him’ (Railton 1986: 9). Many agree this claim expresses something true, but there is little consensus on how exactly the constraint is to be understood. Here, I clarify the sense in which the quote offers a basic constraint on theories of well-being—a constraint that should be adopted by (e.g.) hedonists, desire satisfactionists, and objective list theorists alike. This constraint focuses on affective engagement, or positive affective stances in connection with a proposed good. I show that the constraint explains a near-universal intuition, and rules out a number of well-known theories of well-being.
    Found 5 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  13. 578061.10186
    Well-being, happiness, and quality of life are now established objects of social and medical research. Does this science produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? I call this The Question of Value-Aptness and over the course of the book, Alexandrova 2017, defend the following answers to this question.
    Found 6 days, 16 hours ago on Anna Alexandrova's site
  14. 602544.101874
    In this short paper, I critically examine Veli Mitova’s proposal that social-identity groups can have collective epistemic reasons. My primary focus is the role of privileged access in her account of how collective reasons become epistemic reasons for social-identity groups. I argue that there is a potentially worrying structural asymmetry in her account of two different types of cases. More specifically, the mechanisms at play in cases of “doxastic reasons” seem fundamentally different from those at play in cases of “epistemic-conduct reasons.” The upshot is a need for further explanation of what unifies these dimensions of the account.
    Found 6 days, 23 hours ago on Sebastian Köhler's site
  15. 718736.101881
    There is an ethics of blaming the person who deserves blame. The Christian scriptures imply the following no-vengeance condition: a person should not vengefully overtly blame a wrongdoer even if she gives the wrongdoer the exact negative treatment that he deserves. I explicate and defend this novel condition and argue that it demands a revolution in our blaming practices. First, I explain the no-vengeance condition. Second, I argue that the no-vengeance condition is often violated. The most common species of blame involves anger; anger conceptually includes a desire for vengeance; and there are many pleasures in payback. Third, I clarify that it is possible to blame non-vengefully in anger and highlight three good uses for anger in non-vengeful blame. Fourth, I offer two reasons that justify the divine command prohibiting vengeance, and I note that the Christian God is merely sufficient to make non-vengeance morally obligatory. Fifth, I defend the no-vengeance condition against four biblical objections.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Robert J. Hartman's site
  16. 724054.10189
    In his article Banicki proposes a universal model for all forms of philosophical therapy. He is guided by works of Martha Nussbaum, who in turn makes recourse to Aristotle. As compared to Nussbaum’s approach, Banicki’s model is more medical and less based on ethical argument. He mentions Foucault’s vision to apply the same theoretical analysis for the ailments of the body and the soul and to use the same kind of approach in treating and curing them. In his interpretation of philosophical therapy, there are, however, some controversial issues, to which we would like to call attention: Is restoring health by a philosophical method of treatment – health understood as a person’s ability to reach his/her vital goals – a convincing explication of philosophical therapy in general? In order to answer this question, it may be useful to look at Plato. It is not only Platonism (and especially Neo-platonism since Plotinus) that questions the idea that therapy is necessarily connected with „vital goals“. Buddhist and Gnostic philosophies are questioning „the vital“ in general. The immense effort in the history of philosophy to liberate the mind from the body casts doubt on the project to explain philosophical therapy solely in analogy to medical therapy.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  17. 778427.101897
    The phenomenon of interactive human kinds, namely kinds of people that undergo change in reaction to being studied or theorised about, matters not only for the reliability of scientific claims, but also for its wider, sometimes harmful effects at the group or societal level, such as contributing to negative stigmas or reinforcing existing inequalities. This paper focuses on the latter aspect of interactivity and argues that scientists studying interactive human kinds are responsible for foreseeing harmful effects of their research and for devising ways of mitigating them.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Marion Godman's site
  18. 882293.101903
    With the release of GPT-3 and ChatGPT, large language models (LLMs) have been a hyped topic of international public and scientific debates. In this paper, we investigate the status of artificial systems in human-machine interactions by addressing the question of what we are doing when we interact with LLMs. Are we just playing with an interesting tool? Do we somehow enjoy a strange way of talking to ourselves? Or are we, in any sense, acting jointly with a collaborator when chatting with machines? Those questions lead us to the controversy about the classification of interactions with LLMs or other artificial systems. Assuming that current or future AI technology might contribute to the emergence of phenomena that can neither be classified as mere tool-use nor as proper social interactions, we explore conceptual frameworks that can characterize in-between phenomena. We discuss the pros and cons of ascribing some form of quasi-social agency to LLMs so they can at least participate in asymmetric joint actions.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Eric Schwitzgebel's site
  19. 955195.10191
    It is widely held that forgiveness is sometimes elective, such that prospective forgivers sometimes have discretion over whether (or at least, how soon) to forgive wrongdoers. It is also widely held that, in granting forgiveness, the forgiver changes the normative landscape connecting the forgiver and the forgiven; forgiveness is not only psychologically and socially significant, but normatively significant. Attention to the electivity and normativity of forgiveness, I argue, reveals our practices of forgiveness to be subject to a philosophically significant and unexplored form of moral luck. Rather than taking this kind of luck to count against the view that forgiveness is elective and normatively significant, I maintain that it contributes to an understanding of the ways in which we are morally vulnerable to those we culpably wrong. Furthermore, it provides a novel inroad for thinking about moral luck, moderately reconceived, more generally. For, assuming that there is an important way in which one’s being forgiven, upon apologizing, is determined by factors beyond one’s control—factors like the readiness or willingness of the victim to grant forgiveness—one might, given the normative significance of forgiveness, be morally lucky in being forgiven. But if the forgiven agent is morally lucky, assuming that this will not be a matter of her being less blameworthy than her unforgiven counterpart, we have available a view of moral luck that is non-trivial yet, in principle, adoptable by standard opponents of moral luck, those who reject that one’s blameworthiness can be determined (/intensified) by factors beyond one’s control that are causally downstream of one’s action.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  20. 1070938.101916
    Experiences of urges, impulses or inclinations are among the most basic elements in the practical life of conscious agents. This paper develops a theory of urges and their epistemology. I motivate a framework that distinguishes urges, conscious experiences of urges and exercises of capacities we have to control our urges. I argue that experiences of urges and exercises of control over urges play coordinate roles in providing one with knowledge of one’s urges.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1070963.101922
    Philosophers have started to theorize the concept of ‘affective injustice’ to make sense of certain ways in which people’s affective lives are significantly marked by injustice. This new research has offered important insights into people’s lived experiences under oppression. But it is not immediately clear how the concept ‘affective injustice’ picks out something different from the closely related phenomenon of ‘psychological oppression.’ This paper considers the question of why we might need new theories of affective injustice in light of the well-established cross-disciplinary literature on psychological oppression. I suggest that, whereas psychological oppression is found in the hearts and minds of people who are oppressed, affective injustice is most fruitfully understood as a structural phenomenon. It operates primarily outside of us: in affective norms, practices, and relationships that are embedded in social conditions of injustice. The account I offer is tentative and incomplete. But my hope is that it will help show how theorizing affective injustice has the potential to enrich existing theories of justice and theories of psychological oppression.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  22. 1128398.101929
    Assuring the well-being of children has emerged over the past several decades as an important goal for health and social policymakers. Although the concept of child well-being has been operationalized and measured in different ways by different child-serving entities, there are few unifying theories that could undergird and inform these various conceptual and measurement efforts. In this paper, we attempt to construct a theory of child well-being. We first review the social and policy history of the concept of child well-being, and briefly review its measurement based on these conceptualizations. We then examine three types of theories of well-being extant in philosophy – mental states theories, desire-based theories and needs-based theories – and investigate their suitability to serve as prototypes of a theory of child well-being. We develop a constraint that child well-being is important in and of itself and not merely as a way station to future adult well-being (we call this a non-reduction constraint). Using this constraint, we identify the limitations of each of the three sets of theories to serve as a basis for a theory of child well-being. Based on a developmentalist approach, we then articulate a theory of child well-being that contains two conditions. First, a child’s stage-appropriate capacities that equip her for successful adulthood, given her environment; and, second, an engagement with the world in child-appropriate ways. We conclude by reviewing seven implications of this theoretical approach for the measurement of child well-being.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Anna Alexandrova's site
  23. 1128521.101937
    Anna Alexandrova has written a very important book about the philosophy and science of well-being. Many parts are illuminating, but I shall concentrate on what she has to say about philosophy. Alexandrova is highly critical of philosophy of well-being. Yet perhaps surprisingly (because I am a philosopher of well-being), I am generally sympathetic to her concerns. My qualms are with some of the stronger conclusions she draws from philosophy’s failings, conclusions that seem insufficiently motivated. I shall focus exclusively on her discussion of language and concepts in Chapter 1, where she argues that the language of well-being is not nearly as unified or coherent as philosophers assume, and where she ultimately defends what she calls a contextualist account of the meaning of well-being terms.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Anna Alexandrova's site
  24. 1183757.101945
    In this paper, we introduce a distinctive kind of psychological abuse we call Tightlacing. We begin by presenting four examples and argue that there is a distinctive form of abuse in these examples that cannot be captured by our existing moral categories. We then outline our diagnosis of this distinctive form of abuse. Tightlacing consists in inducing a mistaken self-conception in others that licenses overburdening demands on them such that victims apply those demands to themselves. We discuss typical Tightlacing strategies and argue that Tightlacing typically is manipulative. Typical tightlacers will be motivated by a strong desire to suppress a kind of behaviour on the victim’s part. We will then differentiate Tightlacing from a related and widely discussed form of psychological abuse, Gaslighting. While Gaslighting focuses on the victim’s epistemic capacities and typically serves to insulate the abuser from potential dissent, Tightlacing focuses on the kind of person the victim is and typically serves to insulate the abuser from confronting ways of behaviour they cannot cope with. While Gaslighting targets the victim’s epistemic self-trust, Tightlacing targets their basic sense of who they are and their sense of entitlement to conduct themselves as who they really are. We finish by diagnosing the wrong-making features of Tightlacing, arguing that Tightlacing, among many secondary wrongs, makes the victim complicit in a denial of their rights as well as an erasure of who they are.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  25. 1189841.101951
    Kant claims that love ‘is a matter of feeling,’ which has led many of his interpreters to argue that he conceives of love as solely a matter of feeling, that is, as a purely pathological state. In this paper I challenge this reading by taking another one of Kant’s claims seriously, namely that all love is either benevolence or complacence and that both are rational. I place Kant’s distinction between benevolence and complacence next to the historical inspiration for it, namely Francis Hutcheson’s very similar distinction, in order to argue that love is rational, for Kant, in that it requires certain rational capacities on the part of the agent. I conclude by illustrating that this has important implications for how we understand Kant’s conception of love more generally.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  26. 1189916.101957
    in order to discover what might explain and justify our concepts, ideas or practices ( Queloz 2021). It arguably originated with Hume, but its most prominent practitioners are Edward Craig and Bernard Williams.1 Each of these thinkers takes a target concept: property rights, knowledge and truthfulness respectively, and shows how the concept could have developed in the context of a heavily idealized human-like society, the so-called ‘state of nature’. Members of the society are portrayed as adopting the new concept because it solves an important problem for them. The second stage of this method involves noting the relevant structural similarities between our own society and the idealized model society: we use basically the same concept, we face basically the same problems. Then, the crucial inference arrives: given these similarities, we may conclude that we use the concept for basically the same reasons, and therefore that we have corresponding practical reasons to continue to do so. This is because we understand, in Craig’s words, “what the concept does for us, what its role in our life might be” (Craig 1990 2).
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  27. 1190081.101964
    Political liberals hold that the exercise of state power is legitimate only if it can be publicly justified—justified on the basis of public reasons. Many find this requirement too demanding and propose instead that there are just pro tanto reasons for laws and policies to be publicly justified. Here I argue that this alternative proposal fails to recognize that there are also distinct pro tanto reasons to have institutional requirements that laws and policies are publicly justified. This suggests an intermediate position between political liberals and their critics, which holds that states have reasons to adopt the kinds of institutions that political liberals favor—institutions that require public justification—but whether they should do so will depend on the costs and benefits of those institutions. This allows for a more practical approach to public justification by focusing on its application in particular political contexts.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  28. 1190179.10197
    It can be tempting to read Iris Murdoch as subscribing to the same position as standard contemporary moral realists. Her language is often similar to theirs and they share some key commitments, most importantly the rejection of the fact-value dichotomy. However, it is a mistake to assume that her realism amounts to the same thing theirs does. In this paper I offer a sketch of her alternative conception of realism, which centres on the idea that truth and reality are fundamentally ethical concepts. For Murdoch, I suggest, realism is a matter of doing justice to the objects one is confronted with—something that cannot be understood except in ethical terms.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  29. 1190271.101977
    There is an emerging consensus within Natural Law that explains transgender identity as an “embodied misunderstanding.” The basic line of argument is that our sexual identity as male or female refers to our possible reproductive roles of begetting or conceiving. Since these two possibilities are determined early on by the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, our sexual identity cannot be changed or reassigned. I develop an argument from analogy, comparing gender and language, to show that this consensus is premature. Language and gender imbue our body with further social meaning and so, I conclude, that just as we can learn multiple languages, so too can we learn multiple genders. Since language and gender each constitutively contribute to our wellbeing as a “second nature,” I argue against this consensus to show that the reason people who are transgender struggle to flourish is not because of a “troubled trans psyche,” but because there are conceptual, interpersonal, and institutional obstacles stacked against them.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  30. 1190294.101983
    In deciding whether to forgive, we often focus on the wrongdoer, looking for an apology or a change of ways. However, to fully consider whether to forgive, we need to expand our focus from the wrongdoer and their wrongdoing, and we need to consider who we are, what we care about, and what we want to care about. The difference between blame and forgiveness is, at bottom, a difference in priorities. When we blame, we prioritize the wrong, and when we forgive, we shift our priorities away from the wrong. Recognizing this essential role for priorities in forgiveness allows us to address a thorny puzzle in thinking about forgiveness: how is it that forgiveness can be both principled and elective? If there is sufficient reason to forgive, as will sometimes be the case because forgiveness is principled, how can it be reasonable to withhold forgiveness? Recognizing that forgiveness is a shift in our priorities dissolves this apparent tension between forgiveness being principled and forgiveness being elective.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo