Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

What's at Stake in the Objective/Subjective Wrongness Debate?

A decade ago I wrote an introductory essay on 'Objective and Subjective Oughts', and the theoretical role of each.  Looking back at it now, I must say... it's an excellent introduction and anyone interested in learning more about the topic should immediately go and read it.In short: the objective ought identifies the best (most desirable) decision, or what an ideal observer would advise and hope that you choose. The subjective or rational ought identifies the wisest or most sensible decision (given your available evidence), departures from which would indicate a kind of internal failure on your part as an agent.  Both of these seem like legitimate theoretical roles.  (Beyond that, various more-subjective senses of ought -- derived from instructions that any agent could infallibly follow -- risk veering into triviality, and are best avoided.)Now, Peter Graham's Subjective versus Objective Moral Wrongness (p.5) claims that there's a single "notion of wrongness [either objective or subjective] about which Kantians and Utilitarians disagree when they give their respective accounts of moral wrongness."  This strikes me as a strange claim, as the debate between Kantians and Utilitarians seems entirely orthogonal to Graham's debate between objectivists and subjectivists.  More promisingly, Graham continues: "And that notion of wrongness is the notion of wrongness that is of ultimate concern to the morally conscientious person [More]

Voter Suppression & Gun Control

Before, during and after the 2020 election many Republicans followed Trump’s lead and lied about widespread voter/election fraud. Trump and his allies had their days in court, losing all but one case. As noted in other essays, Trump’s allies never claimed fraud in court: they were aware of the need for evidence and the penalties [More]

Philosophy Content Creator and Trainee Facilitator 25 hours/week, £23,400 p.a. pro rata, £27,500 p.a. pro rata after six months

Job List:  Europe Name of institution:  Gift Courses LLP Town:  Chelmsford Country:  United Kingdom Job Description:  This post is being offered under the UK Government's Kickstart scheme, and as such is only open to those who are 24 or under, based int he UK, and currently on Universal [More]

Epistemological Problems of Testimony

[New Entry by Nick Leonard on April 1, 2021.] [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Nick Leonard replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] So much of what we know about the world, e.g., history, science, politics, one another, etc., comes from the testimony of others. But while testimony is clearly an indispensable source of [More]

Anti-Asian Racism: 2021 Edition

In a recent mass shooting in Atlanta, eight people were killed. Among them were six women of Asian descent, leading many to suspect racism was a factor. The suspect claimed that he was motivated by his sexual addiction and acted to eliminate his temptations.  The fact that the suspect did not explicitly claim a racist [More]

Pufendorf’s Moral and Political Philosophy

[Revised entry by Michael Seidler on March 31, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Samuel Freiherr von Pufendorf (1632 - 1694) was almost as unknown during most of the 19th and 20th centuries as he had been familiar during the preceding hundred years and more. His fate shows well how philosophical interests shape historical background narratives. More or less consciously, individual thinkers and the traditions they spawn frame themselves in terms of an edited past which - as in other forms of genealogy - they either appropriate, reject, revise, or ignore. Thus intellectual ancestry is always more controversial [More]