How Morality Can Change Through Objective Processes And In Objectively Defensible Ways

Jason of Lousy Canuck thinks I am quibbling over semantics in complaining about his characterization of morality as essentially “subjective” and he wants me to clarify how my position diverges in substance from his own.  Answering his questions and his formulations may prove a fruitful way to clarify my own positions.  So, here goes.  He [Read More...]

A Video Of Me Rambling About Nietzsche

This is from 2007 and I just found that it pops right up when one Googles me. It’s hard for me to watch because it involves watching me. But I figured it might be of interest to others. Forgive the extemporaneousness of it all and enjoy some of the more hilarious hand gestures. (My favorite [Read More...]

James Fallon: Confessions of a Pro-Social Psychopath

Thanks to Dunc, here is a fascinating video of James Fallon, at the World Science Festival: Below the fold is more on the history of the development of the science of psychopathy, including a long segment on Fallon himself, from a much darker toned documentary on the BBC. In the second video below, Fallon explains [Read More...]

TOP Q (6): Why Should Pleasure And Pain Matter Morally?

I have already begun to explain my own view of the nature and limits of the ethical value of pleasure and pain (and I’d pleased if you considered my views there and, admittedly, a bit pained if you do not bother to!)  But I would like to throw this out as today’s open philosophical question: [Read More...]

My Perspectivist, Teleological Account Of The Relative Values Of Pleasure And Pain

With Sam Harris doing the rounds promoting a utilitarianism that seems to take the pleasures of sentient beings to be the good to be maximized, it’s as appropriate a time as ever to flesh out my objections to prioritizing pleasure and pain as the central goods in life.  More specifically, you can read my already [Read More...]

Subjective Valuing And Objective Values

In reply to my post a week ago on the incoherence of saying that we relied upon God, or at least religion, in order to either discover or verify what was good and evil, Clergy Guy asks: Daniel, do you have some thoughts on defining good and evil apart from religion? How do we/should we [Read More...]

Reflection And Moral Behavior

In the video below (via Pete Mandik), philosophers Josh Knobe and Eric Schwitzgebel discuss the extent to which thinking about morality can make them behave more morally by measuring whether ethics professors, who presumably think about morality the most often and the most systematically, are any more consistently moral or at least act more consistently [Read More...]

My Perfectionistic, Egoistic AND Universalistic, Indirect Consequentialism (And Contrasts With Other Kinds)

A consequentialist assesses the ultimate worth of all the various features of our ethical lives according to whether or not they bring about some specific intrinsic good or goods that the consequentialist judges to be of primary value. All the various valuable features of our lives have their ultimate value with respect to how they [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...]


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