Philip Pettit On How Consequentialism Can Respect The Integrity of Agents

Princeton professor Philip Pettit makes the case for consequentialism on this week’s Philosophy Bites. The voices and elocution of everyone in this interview are worth the price of admission. I love the way they pronounce al-Qaeda (“al-kay-ee-duh”) in particular. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

The Objective Value of Ordered Complexity

I argue that the word goodness should be interpreted to mean, in the most fundamental sense of the word, “effectiveness”. I also argue that since effectiveness is a factual issue, goodness is a factual issue. These controversial positions of mine raise a lot of thought provoking questions and challenges from readers. I am using this [Read More...]

What It Means To Me To Be Free

I think that in some meaningful ways, human beings are free. In a couple of previous posts and in subsequent comments in their comments sections, I have been arguing for the ways that we are not free in a libertarian sense, i.e., our actions are not “undetermined” by forces outside our fundamental control. We are [Read More...]

Internecine War At Freethought Blogs: Philosopher vs. "Redneck" Edition: Free Will And The Real World Smackdown

As far as I have noticed, there has not been a blog war between any of the Freethought Blogs (or, er, since we all moved here anyway) so I was a little trepidatious of going and picking apart the every word of a quick comment on one of my posts by my new favorite blogger, Hank [Read More...]

The "Moral Argument" For Free Will Is A Morally Troubling, Hypocritical, Faith Position

Many who believe that we have free will are what philosophers call “libertarians”. These are not necessarily libertarians in the political sense but in a metaphysical sense. Libertarians conceive of free will as incompatible with determinism. Their notion is that to the extent that our actions are determined by forces or factors which are beyond [Read More...]

Can Good Teaching Be Measured?

In recent posts I have been arguing that if only we interpret the word “good” to mean “effective” we can ground our discussions of values (moral and otherwise) in facts about effectivness. I argue that in that context we can have greater and lesser degrees of goodness, measurable in terms of greater or lesser degrees [Read More...]

The Contexts, Objective Hierarchies, and Spectra of Goods and Bads (Or "Why Murder Is Bad")

I wrote a post which laid out the cornerstone of my theory of objective value. In it I argued that “goodness equals effectiveness”. Wherever one uses the word “good”, one could substitute the word “effectiveness” and the sentence would mean the same thing. My view is that since effectiveness is clearly a measurable and factual matter [Read More...]

Santorum's Hypocrisy and Backwardness on Questions of Epistemic Authority

My thoughts: [Read more...]

What I Think About Metaethics

To get new readers caught up and to inspire all of you to resume old conversations and to get new ones rolling, periodically I will write posts which tour you through my archive.  In each post I will briefly summarize the positions I have taken in the past and provide links to the posts where [Read More...]


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