Introduction It’s nearly impossible to understand contemporary ethics without understanding the word ‘normative’ as it’s used in philosophy. Since this post is mostly about a kind of argument in ethics, I’ll get the definition out of the way. Perhaps the easiest way to understand normative statements is to contrast them with descriptive statements. “She hit […]Read More The Emperor of Fallacies: The Is/Ought Problem
Ok, I can’t take it any more. I’m supposed to be working on a paper but the recent flood of articles regarding Planned Parenthood and abortions are making me loco–but not for the reasons you might think. I’m not going argue for a position regarding abortion but I just want to point a few things […]Read More Abortion, Animal Rights, and Moral Consistency
Overview of CoherentismThe issue on the table is to figure out what it takes for a moral claim to be epistemically justified. The coherentist offers the following general account of justification. A moral belief is justified to the degree that it coheres with the believers other beliefs. In short, justification is cashed out in terms […]Read More Evidence for Moral Claims Part 2: Coherentism
For a couple of years now I’ve been perplexed by the following problem: What counts as evidence for or justifies a moral belief? Even in asking the question I’m a bit confused because are two possible interpretations of the question (possibly more). We might say that what justifies a moral belief is that it is […]Read More What Counts as Evidence for a Moral Belief?
IntroductionThe major debate in ethics is whether there are objective moral facts. There are a variety of defenses and objections to either position. Those who say there are objective moral facts are called “realists” while those who deny realism are called anti-realists or nihilists (there are actually more positions such as constructivists and non-cognitivists but […]Read More Review and Summary of "Ethics and Observation" by Harmon
IntroductionOne thing you learn pretty quickly in philosophy is that committing to a particular principle often commits you to unexpected positions. Since becoming vegetarian I’m starting to realize this a lot in terms of the principles that ground my vegetarianism. Here’s the issue: It seems that the principles that ground vegetarianism or veganism commit us […]Read More Can Ethical Vegetarians and Vegans Own Carnivorous Pets?
The first question of philosophy is “how should I live my life?” Sometimes this is also presented as “what is the good life?” because the trivial answer to the first formulation is “the best way possible.” However you want to frame it, it eventually boils down to the same thing. For the purposes of this […]Read More Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics: A Common Misunderstanding
Hey guys, Here’s a video I made to help my students understand Divine Command theory and the Euthyphro dilemma: https://plotagon.com/12834Read More Divine Command Theory and the Euthyphro Dilemma (Video)
So, I’ve been experimenting with a new way to explain major philosophical concepts and issues by video and dialogue (aka, Socratic method). I think dialogue is a much more intuitive way of understanding things. I’m not able to embed the video but here’s the link. Let me know what you think:https://plotagon.com/12235Read More Cultural Relativism Vs Moral Objectivism
IntroductionAt some point, every semester in my critical thinking class, I issue a challenge to my students. For homework, they have to come up with their best possible argument for why it’s OK to eat factory farmed meat. Every class gives variations of the same handful of arguments and they are indeed the same arguments […]Read More Standard Arguments for Why It’s OK to Eat Meat and Why They Are Much Weaker Than You Think