TOP Q: “Do Children Have Higher Moral Status Than Adults?”

In his book Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children’s Superiority, law professor James Dwyer argues that children are not merely equal to adults in moral status but actually have a higher moral status than adults.  Below is a brief video in which he sketches out the broad contours of his thought on moral [Read More...]

Moral vs. Non-Moral Values

In a recent post I distinguished numerous times between moral and non-moral values and between different sorts of intrinsic and instrumental goods.  James Gray asks for clarifications about how I use these terms: First, I don’t know that it matters to call something a “moral value.” Of course, there are instrumental values concerning morally neutral [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...]

Non-Reductionistic Analysis Of Values Into Facts

I have recently been arguing that the term good: must be cashed out in fact terms lest it just be a projection of our preferences and nothing more.  [And] if it means anything objective, it means effectiveness. In reply, James Gray accuses me of reductionism: One, “good” does not have be defined in non-good terms. [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...]

Effectiveness Is The Primary Goal In Itself, Not Merely A Means

In a recent post I argued that goodness, objectively speaking, means effectiveness.  Of course we use the word “good” for numerous purposes, to express that we find something pleasant, desirable, useful, advantageous to our interests, etc.  But I want to argue that when it comes to the facts of reality, goodness has only this one essential [Read More...]

Grounding Objective Value Independent Of Human Interests And Moralities

In my most recent philosophical post, I have finally explained one of the most fundamental premises necessary for explaining and justifying my overall views on ethics.  I explained my view that goodness objectively means effectiveness and that all further true ideas of “good” should be understood only as derivative from the basic good of effectiveness.  Also [Read More...]

Goodness Is A Factual Matter (Goodness=Effectiveness)

All statements about values can be restated as statements of facts. The truth or falsity about value claims can be discovered by investigations of facts. Goodness is a word that can be defined by reference to certain kinds of factual relationships in the world. Whether or not something deserves to be called good can be [Read More...]

I Am A Moral Naturalist, Not A Subjectivist

In a long comment on my post from this morning, George raised the question of usage of “subjectivism” beyond my own interpretation of the word.  Let’s look to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which should be as neutral an adjudicating source as the English-speaking philosophy world has.  I selected this source for its independent, encyclopedia character [Read More...]


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