Tag Archives: Metaethics

Contra Haidt: A Short Critique of Schwitzgebel and Rust’s Empirical Studies

From Haidt’s impassioned rejection of the “rationalist delusion,” it is difficult to discern why Schwitzgebel and Rust would place such significance on the aforementioned behaviors as they pertain to ethicists versus non-ethicists. There are more morally egregious behaviors that ethicists could engage in would serve to overwhelmingly confirm the fact that they do not act more morally than others despite their professional status as moral philosophers. Yet, in the various articles published by Schwitzgebel and Rust, very little explanation is provided as to why these are truly relevant to determining whether moral philosophers behave better than those who may not have as extensive training or education in moral reasoning. In an article about the library habits of ethicists versus their non-ethicist counterparts, there is only one sentence provided as to why failure to return library books is bad (Schwitzgebel 714). Rather than justifying their choice of moral behaviors to research, Schwitzgebel and Rust spend most of their published articles explaining the methods they use.

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A Summary of “The Righteous Mind” by J. Haidt

JH

In his work “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion,” social psychologist Jonathan Haidt coins the term “the rationalist delusion” to explain a tendency of a majority of scholars to overemphasize the importance of rationality in human behavior throughout history (103). Haidt claims that the “worship of reason,” particularly within the realm of morality, is essentially inappropriate and he utilizes the rest of his book to advocate for a different version of moral reasoning and decision making processes based more on emotive intuitions that are dominant (103).

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2 Brief Yet Excellent Introductions to Meta-Ethics!

This first video above does a great job of presenting the basic contours of the field in an easy-to-follow manner. 

This second video below does a greater job of doing so while digging a little bit deeper on the details. 

If you get a chance, make sure to watch both!

‘Moral Blind Spots’ by Gerald Jones: A Brief Critique

Introduction and Overview

Gerald Jones has recently published a fascinating article in PhilosophyNow magazine entitled ‘Moral Blind Spots.’ Though the content of his article is multi-faceted (e.g. nodding to topics in transhumanism, historical revisionism, and metaethics) and ultimately addresses the moral imperatives behind veganism and vegetarianism, what piqued my interest was the extended analogy that Jones developed to compare physical deficiencies involving one’s eyesight with moral deficiencies. Continue reading

What’s More Preposterous? A Survey of the Beliefs of Professional Philosophers

Recently, Brian Leiter (of the blog The Leiter Reports) published the results of an internet poll about various philosophical views. More specifically, this internet poll sought to rank the most to least preposterous philosophical belief systems or concepts (reread that again to make sure you got them in the right order). In total, over 1300 current professional philosophers were surveyed and the 6 philosophical belief systems or concepts that were utilized (and in this particular order) include…

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