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Steve Finlay
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Hi Alex, Mostly, I think it answers metaethical rather than normative questions. But that's only because I think that 'good', 'ought' etc. are semantically contextualist/relativistic. If 'good' semantically expressed a determinate property, then semantic analysis would have direct normative results. (As Bentham and Mill seem to suggest). If I'm right, then semantics plus ordinary empirical knowledge tells us a lot about what we might call relativistic normative facts--e.g. that brushing your teeth is good for preserving your dental health--but doesn't by itself settle moral disputes, which partly involve taking a stance on which ends to prefer. (Here I'm with the expressivists). However, once we fix on our moral ends, it does yield normative results directly. As to how the words "ought" to be used: well, according to my own views, there's a lot of different things one might mean by that. My theory commits me to distinguishing at least semantic, factual, and "moral" mistakes in using normative language. (Semantic mistakes involve using it in ways that violate its meaning; factual mistakes involve using it to assert falsehoods; "moral" mistakes get a quasi-expressivist analysis: they're the uses we reject as expressing an intolerable set of preferences.)
UPDATE!! SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT A SUBSTANTIVE PROPERTY OF FINAL VALUE IS A PHILOSOPHER'S FANTASY (AND THAT EVEN PHILOSOPHERS DON'T TRULY BELIEVE IT). (Sorry for the sensationalism, but suddenly one needs to compete for an audience around here! And I think... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2013 at PEA Soup
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Los Angeles, May 20-22, 2013 Deontic or normative modality is a subject of common interest for researchers in several fields, including moral philosophy, metaethics, linguistic semantics, and deontic logic. This workshop brings together leading and creative thinkers in each of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2013 at PEA Soup
The seventh annual meeting of the Felician Ethics Conference will be held at the Rutherford Campus of Felician College on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 223 Montross Ave, Rutherford, NJ 07070 Plenary Speaker: Robert Audi John A. O’Brien Professor of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2013 at PEA Soup
This conference will be in Los Angeles on May 20-22, 2013. Note that the deadline for submitting an abstract is extended by one week to Jan 8th. Keynote Speaker: Angelika Kratzer (UMass-Amherst) Invited Speakers: John Broome (Oxford) Jeff Horty (Maryland)... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2012 at PEA Soup
Deontic or normative modality is a subject of common interest for researchers in several fields, including moral philosophy, linguistics, formal logic, and metaethics. However, over the last three decades, research in these different fields has largely been conducted independently, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2012 at PEA Soup