Review and Summary of "Ethics and Observation" by Harmon

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 […]

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The Moral Problem: Michael Smith

Introduction and ContextSo far it looks like if we’re moral realists (i.e., we believe there are objective moral facts) we are in deep doo-doo.  In Why Be Moral, Glaucon and Adeimantus compellingly argue that it’s better to appear moral than to actually be moral.  The Euthyphro dilemma shows that appealing to God can’t, on its […]

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Parfit on Moral Disagreement: Part 2

Notes and Thoughts on Moral Disagreement as Discussed in Parfit’s “On What Matters” Ch. 34Parfit Vs Basic Argument from DisagreementSuppose you and your counterpart are in ideal epistemic conditions.  You are aware of and agree on all the non-normative facts yet your opinions differ on what the true moral belief is.  In a way, we […]

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Moral Disagreement Part 1: Parfit

Notes and Thoughts on Parfit and Moral Disagreement (Ch. 34)IntroductionBefore getting into the philosophy, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the trolley thought experiments, answer these questions before proceeding:Trolly Q1:  You are driver of a runaway tram which you can only steer from one narrow track on to another; five men are working […]

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Random Notes On Moral Reasons (Parfit)

Ok, it’s term paper season.  This means my posts will become infrequent and the posts that I do make will be mostly me trying to figure stuff out for papers.  Without further ado, lets get into my ramblings on Parfit’s notion of normative reasons.Background on Parfit’s Normative ReasonsIn contemporary meta-ethics people talk about “reasons for […]

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