Philosophical Ethics: Does Calling Someone Evil Explain Anything About Them?

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: J.L. Mackie’s Error Theory And Jonathan Harrison’s Critique Thereof

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Camels With Hammers Philosophy

After this introductory paragraph, every sentence in this post will summarize and link a different post expressing my views, primarily on topics related to atheism, philosophy, and ethics—which are the primary preoccupations of this blog. I am organizing all of these links into this one summary statement of “Camels With Hammers’ Philosophy.” This post will [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Bruce Russell On Theories About What Makes An Action Rational Or Not

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: R.M. Hare On Moral Consistency As A Form Of Logical Consistency

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Admirable Infinite Commitment For Finite Reasons

May your strength give us strength, may your faith give us faith, may your hope give us hope, may your love give us love. In recent weeks I have distinguished and criticized numerous distinct belief formation and justification practices which go by the name of “faith.”  I have argued that it is neither rational nor [Read More...]

Further Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

In reply to a recent post, Tyler writes: Your definition of ethics and morality is well taken and allows for further interesting debate on culture and moral systems but it still requires assumption of benefit. Defining phrases like “fully flourishing life” and “most excellent characters we can develop” require a standard of evaluation which I [Read More...]

Kantian Reasons To Lie To The Murderer At The Door?

Michael Cholbi thinks he has some: First, the lie is not meant to advance the happiness either of the liar or of the potential murder victim, but to thwart the abuse of the victim’s autonomy that her murder would represent. Hence, if lying to the murderer is manipulation at all, it is manipulation in the [Read More...]

Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

In a previous post, I raised some remarks from psychologist of morality Jonathan Haidt, in which he discussed his theory that moral thinking appeals to 5 essential modules hardwired into our brains by evolution.  In the interview I cited from a couple of years ago he only referred to 4 of the 5 modules but [Read More...]