Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

(Past annual reviews: 20122011201020092008200720062005, and 2004.)

Publications / Awards:
Two big results this year... (1) My 'Value Receptacles' paper was accepted for publication in Noûs, and (2) I was (co-)awarded the RoME 2013 Young Ethicist Prize for my paper, 'Satisficing by Effort: From Scalar to Satisficing Consequentialism'.

On the blog:

Normative Ethics

* 'Reconciling Scalar, Maximizing, and Satisficing Consequentialisms' highlights one interesting lesson from my 'Satisficing' paper: three apparently competing version of consequentialism may not be in competition at all.

* 'Apparent Vagueness and Graded Harms' defends traditional consequentialism against the objection that it doesn't deal well with sorites-style "collective harms".

* 'Non-identity, Variability, and Actualist Partiality' compares the merits of Melinda Roberts' Variabilism and my own proposed variation on the view that we should be particularly attached to actual people.

* (Im)partiality -- should everyone share the same moral goals, or favour their "nearest and dearest"?

* 'Manipulating Morality's Demands' explains why we shouldn't aim to act rightly (or to avoid wrongdoing) per se.

* 'Parfit's Mere Means Principles' discusses, and then attempts to improve upon, Parfit's interesting discussion of (i) what it takes to treat someone as a mere means, and (ii) whether this is always wrong.


* 'The Best Case for Uncertaintism' explores whether false normative beliefs can be justified and appropriately acted upon.

* 'The Possibility of Moral Realism' suggests that considerations of parsimony may not be relevant to the moral realism debate.

* 'Moral Supervenience' seeks to defend the self-evidence of moral supervenience against recent arguments from Gerald Harrison.

* Is it immoral to believe nihilism?

Applied Ethics

* 'Savulescu's Epidemic: Killing vs Letting Die' discusses a fun case, and engenders a very active comments section.

Is Early Death Worse than Non-Existence?  I argue, contra Ben Bradley, that it plausibly is.

* 'Robin Hoodery' broaches the idea of a modern-day "Robin Hood', raising questions about the strength of our property rights.

* David Killoren offers an excellent guest post on 'Pets, Livestock, and Narrative Value'

Metaphysics, Epistemology, etc.

* 'Is Religious Belief Reasonable?' expresses some doubts about the claim that even atheists must answer in the affirmative.

* 'Justification and Explanatory Normalcy' critically explores the relevance of the latter for the former, and raises the question: should we prefer to make any mistakes on our part unlikely or excusable?

* 'Two Metaphysical Pictures' explores what I call "Fluxian" and "Humean" worldviews.

* What should metaphysical anti-chauvinists think about Unexperience Virtual Realities?  And is this primarily a metaphysical or an ethical question?

* 'The Weakest (Philosophical) Link' invites discussion of which philosophical theses you accept with the least confidence. (My answers: normative realism, and perhaps impartial welfarism as opposed to some more complicated consequentialist axiology.)

Happy New Year!

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