Nietzsche: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism Are "Equally Childish"

Recently Joel Marks, a career moral philosopher, concluded that the moral certitude he has felt and argued for his entire career was built as much on faith as many theists’ belief in God is. And in response he swung radically in the opposite direction and came to believe that there can be no rational objectivity [Read More...]

Nietzsche's Immoralism As Rebellion Against The Authoritarian Tendencies Of Moralities

Nietzsche casts himself, quite provocatively, as an “immoralist”.  In this post, I want to make clear what Nietzsche means by this term as a first step towards understanding the exact nature and scope of his hostility to morality.  As should already be apparent to longtime Camels With Hammers readers, I am optimistic about philosophy’s possibilities [Read More...]

Pleasure And Pain As Intrinsic Instrumental Goods

In recent posts I have been arguing that there is one sense of the word “good” which can be analyzed in terms of facts and that this is the kind of “goodness” which we can consider a real part of the world.  This real, intrinsic, factual sense of goodness is its meaning as “effectiveness”. We [Read More...]

What Is Happiness And Why Is It Good?

In this post, I explore the meanings and worths of two phenomena recognized by our language as  “happiness”, in reply to remarks by James Gray on my most recent post.  For a little background for those joining late and who would like to catch up: I have been arguing in several posts now that goodness factually means [Read More...]

How Our Morality Realizes Our Humanity

In a previous post, I discussed the intrinsic connection between being and goodness and between functional activity and being.  I argued, for example that the various components of a heart need to function as a heart to be a heart and similarly that a human being must act morally to realize her humanity.  Specifically, I [Read More...]

A Brief Overview Of My Dissertation

Nietzsche’s writings on morality are famously provocative and controversial.  His criticisms of morality in both theory and practice are so extensive and rhetorically scathing that many philosophers assume that he can offer little or nothing constructive to moral philosophy.  Additionally, his glorification of the will to power sounds prima facie like a celebration of excessively [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Rawls’s Maximin Principle

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: Whether It’s Worth It To Be Just With No Incentives Or With Disincentives

Before we get to the philosophy this time, let’s enjoy my favorite Flaming Lips song: 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 [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: A Possible Kantian Formula For Determining The Permissibility Of Self-Defense

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...]


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