Why I’m Sitting in this Chair

by Robert Gressis A couple of months ago, I had a diavlog with our host, Dan Kaufman. In that discussion, we debated what Dan has usefully called the “morality everywhere” approach; roughly, this is the idea not only that just about all of our behavior is morally evaluable, but also that it is evaluable according to very demanding moral standards. […]

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Seven Waves Away: A Brief Analysis

by Mark English ___ The metaphor of survivors competing for space on an overloaded raft or lifeboat has a long and deep history in the annals of human moral reflection. Such reflection differs from the philosopher’s more contrived and detached “trolley problems” in a number of ways, but mainly because emotional and social aspects of the moral questions involved are […]

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Course Notes – Susan Wolf, “Moral Saints”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.rationalites-contemporaines.paris-sorbonne.fr/IMG/pdf/Wolf1.pdf I am currently teaching Ethics and Contemporary Issues, a course devoted to ethical theories and moral controversies that is part of the university’s General Education curriculum.  The opening unit is devoted to theory, and one of the essays we take up, towards the unit’s end, is Susan Wolf’s “Moral Saints,” originally published in 1982. Up […]

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Oliver Mayo, Evolution by Natural Selection and Ethics: What in evolution has ethical implications?

by David L. Duffy Mayo’s book is a meditation on/updating of Ferdinand Brunetière’s (1894) The morality of evolutionary theory. [1][2] Like Christian de Duve’s Genetics of original sin and the future of life,  Brunetière reckons Original Sin is explained by natural selection. [3] Mayo, however, prefers the Humean line on is-ought. This is an “outsider” book on ethics, in the […]

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The Special Standing of Moral Skepticism

by Daniel A. Kaufman I want to describe a kind of moral skepticism that I believe enjoys special standing.  It is skeptical, insofar as it denies that there are good reasons for believing in moral properties.   It has special standing, because unlike general skepticism – by which I mean, skepticism about the external world – the doubts it describes are […]

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Nothing Applies

by Daniel A. Kaufman Wetson’s was a Long Island hamburger chain that was established in 1959 to be a McDonald’s clone, in a market that McDonald’s and Burger King had yet to enter.  Once they did, in the early 1970’s, it wouldn’t be long before Wetson’s would go out of business, but at its peak, the chain’s 70 restaurants stretched […]

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Moral Reflections Inspired by (some of) the Ten Commandments

by Daniel A. Kaufman Reflection on the explicitly moral commandments in the Decalogue raises a number of interesting considerations, in the area of Ethics.  I am thinking, specifically, of the following (translation is the 1985, Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh): You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. One thing to note is that when translated […]

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