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The status of morality

Author: Thomas L Carson
Publisher: Dordrecht ; Boston : D. Reidel Pub. Co. ; Hingham, MA : Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers, ©1984.
Series: Philosophical studies series in philosophy, v. 31.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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My interest in the issues considered here arose out of my great frustration in trying to attack the all-pervasive relativism of my students in introductory ethics courses at Virginia Polytechnic  Read more...

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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas L Carson
ISBN: 9027716919 9789027716910
OCLC Number: 10506298
Description: xxiii, 203 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: One: A Brentanist Theory of Moral Judgments.- 1.1. The Theory.- 1.1.1. Brentano's Analysis of the Meaning of Moral Judgments.- 1.1.2. My Own Revised Account - `The Brentanist Theory'.- 1.2. Grounds for Preferring the Brentanist Theory to the Standard Non-Cognitivist Theories.- 1.2.1. Cognitivism and Non-Cognitivism.- 1.2.2. Emotivism.- 1.2.3. Emotivism and Moral Disagreement.- 1.2.4. Can Emotivism Explain the Difference Between Moral Judgments and Non-Moral Judgments?.- 1.2.5. Emotivism Cannot Give a Satisfactory Account of What Happens When People Change Their Views About Moral Questions.- 1.2.6. According to Emotivism a Favorable (Unfavorable) Moral Judgment About Something Is Insincere Unless One Has a Favorable (Unfavorable) Attitude About It.- 1.2.7. Prescriptivism Denies the Possibility of Moral Weakness.- 1.2.8. Prescriptivism and Emotivism Are Unable to Account for the Fact that There Are People Who Are Completely Indifferent to Moral Considerations (Amoralists).- 1.2.9. Prescriptivism and Emotivism Are Unable to Account for the Fact that There Are People Who Are Moved by Anti-Moral Considerations (Immoralists).- 1.2.10. Non-Cognitivist Views Cannot Account for the Fact that Moral Judgments Purport to Be Objectively Correct.- 1.3. Grounds for Preferring the Brentanist Theory to the Standard Cognitivist Theories.- 1.3.1 Cognitivist Theories Avoid the Problems Discussed in Sections 1.2.3 and 1.2.4.- 1.3.2. Cognitivist Theories Cannot Account for the Practical and Emotive Force of Moral Judgments.- 1.3.3. Intuitionist Theories such as Moore's Are Unintelligible Unless Understood in Terms of Something Like the Brentanist Theory.- 1.3.4. The Brentanist Theory Implies that the Question `Is It Rational to Be Moral?' Makes No Sense.- 1.3.5. Some Criticisms of Foot's Version of Cognitivism.- 1.3.6. Reflection on the Question of What Would Constitute an Adequate Answer to Moral Skepticism Supports the Brentanist Theory.- 1.3.7. Conclusion of Sections 1.2 and 1.3.- 1.4. Answers to Some Objections to the Brentanist Theory.- 1.4.1. Can the Brentanist Theory Provide a Satisfactory Account of the Difference Between Moral and Non-Moral Judgments?.- 1.4.2. Can the Brentanist Theory Distinguish Between the Good and the Right, and the Bad and the Wrong?.- 1.4.3. Would It Be an Objection to the Brentanist Theory if Attitudes Cannot Be Objectively Correct?.- Two: The Ideal Observer Theory and Moral Objectivism.- 2.1. An Argument for Accepting the Ideal Observer Theory as a Standard for Determining the Correctness of Moral Judgments.- 2.1.1. There Do Not Seem to Be Any Moral Facts in the Sense Allowed by the Brentanist Theory.- 2.1.2. Together, the Brentanist Theory and the (Apparent) Fact that There Are No Moral Facts Commit Us to a Version of the Ideal Observer Theory.- 2.2. Firth's Version of the Ideal Observer Theory.- 2.2.1. Firth's Theory.- 2.2.2. Firth's Theory Contrasted with Brandt's Version of the lOT.- 2.2.3. Ideal Observers Might Disagree in Their Views or Attitudes About Certain Moral Issues; Therefore, Firth's Theory Fails to Support a Strong Version of Moral Objectivism.- 2.2.4. Duncker's Attempt to Show that All Disagreements About Moral Questions Are Dependent on Disagreements About Matters of Fact.- 2.2.5. Firth's Ideal Observers Would Not All Agree in Their Attitudes About Any Moral Questions; Therefore, Firth Is Committed to an Extreme Version of Relativism.- 2.3. My Characterization of the Ideal Observer.- 2.3.1. An Ideal Observer Must Be Fully Informed.- (a) Some difficulties in formulating the requirement of full information.- (b) Having full information requires a knowledge and vivid representation of the experiences of other people.- (c) Some ways in which the requirement that ideal observers must adequately represent other people's experiences helps to insure that they will agree in their attitudes.- (d) What is involved in `adequately representing' another person's experiences?.- (e) Is the ability to represent adequately the experiences of other people compatible with one's being human?.- (f) Will an ideal observer be too squeamish in his reactions?.- 2.3.2. A Way of Strengthening Firth's Requirement that Ideal Observers Be Fully Informed.- 2.3.3. The Views and Attitudes of an Ideal Observer Cannot Be Dependent on His Having Been Influenced by Others Who Are Not Ideal Observers.- 2.3.4. An Ideal Observer Must Have Full Knowledge of All Relevant Moral Principles.- 2.3.5. The Attitudes and Judgments of an Ideal Observer Cannot Involve `Emotional Displacement'.- 2.3.6. The Views and Attitudes of an Ideal Observer Cannot Involve Self Deception.- 2.3.7. An Ideal Observer Must Be a Human Being.- 2.3.8. An Ideal Observer Need Not Be Impartial, Disinterested, or Dispassionate.- 2.3.9. An Ideal Observer Need Not Be "Normal".- 2.4 Three Versions of the Ideal Observer Theory and Their Implications for the Objectivity of Moral Judgments.- 2.4.1. The Version of the IOT According to Which the Correctness of a Moral Judgment Is Determined by Its Acceptability to Ideal Observers.- 2.4.2. The Version of the IOT According to Which the Correctness of a Moral Judgment About Something Is Determined by the Attitudes that Ideal Observers Would Have About It.- 2.4.3. Some Difficulties with the Second Version of the IOT.- 2.4.4. What Counts as a Favorable or Unfavorable Attitude?.- 2.4.5. The Implications of the Second Version of the IOT for Questions About the Objectivity of Morals.- 2.4.6. The IOT as a Standard for the Correctness of an Individual Person's Moral Judgments.- 2.5. Sermonette on the Importance of Empathy.- 2.6. Intuitionism and the Ideal Observer Theory.- Three: Relativism and Nihilism.- 3.1 Some Different Meanings of the Term `Ethical Relativism'.- 3.1.1. Cultural Relativism.- 3.1.2. Situational Relativism.- 3.1.3. Normative Relativism.- 3.1.4. Meta-Ethical Relativism.- 3.1.5. Meta-Ethical Relativism Contrasted with Moral Skepticism.- 3.2. The Definition of `Meta-Ethical Relativism'.- 3.2.1. An Objection to the Standard Definition.- 3.2.2. A Revised Definition.- 3.2.3. Some Derivative Notions.- 3.3. Some Necessary Conditions of One's Accepting a Moral Judgment or a Moral Principle.- 3.3.1. A Moral Judgment.- 3.3.2. A Moral Principle.- 3.4. Meta-Ethical Relativism and Nihilism.- 3.4.1. A Preliminary Argument.- 3.4.2. An Objection Considered.- 3.4.3. The Concept of Subjective Truth.- 3.5. A Non-Nihilistic Version of Meta-Ethical Relativism.- 3.5.1. Two Necessary Conditions for a Non-Nihilistic Version of Meta-Ethical Relativism.- 3.5.2. That the View Defended in Chapter Two Constitutes a Non-Nihilistic Version of Meta-Ethical Relativism.- 3.5.3. Other Non-Nihilistic Versions of Meta-Ethical Relativism.- 3.6. Conclusion.- 3.6.1. My Theory Is Not a Rejection of Morality in Toto.- 3.6.2. An Objection Considered.- Four: The Wages of Relativism.- 4.1. What Sorts of Attitudes and Commitments Presuppose a Belief in the Objectivity of Normative Judgments?.- 4.1.1. Normative Judgments Are Statements About the Correctness of Attitudes.- 4.1.2. HMER Does Not Commit One to Being Indifferent to Everything.- 4.1.3. Attitudes Such as Guilt, Resentment, and "Moral Seriousness" Presuppose the Falsity of HMER.- (a) Guilt.- (b) Resentment.- (c) Taking moral questions seriously.- 4.2. Causal or Psychological Connections Between Meta-Ethical Views and Attitudes and First-Order Normative Standards.- 4.2.2. The Likely Consequences of One's Adopting HMER.- 4.2.3. The Effects of Accepting SMER.- Appendix I: Nietzsche on the Genealogy of Morals.- 1.1. Nietzsche's Claims Concerning the Genealogy of Morals.- 1.2. What Are Nietzsche's Genetic Claims Intended to Show?.- Appendix II: Normative Relativism and Nihilism.- Appendix III: Hare's Version of the Ideal Observer Theory.- Notes.- Selected Bibliography.
Series Title: Philosophical studies series in philosophy, v. 31.
Responsibility: Thomas L. Carson.

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