Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 in review

(Past annual reviews: 20142013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.)

Metaethics & Epistemology

* Information and Parfit's Fact-Stating Argument - clarifying what I take to be one of the strongest (yet generally neglected) arguments against metaethical naturalism.
* Are "Internal Reasons" Normative?  I worry that Williams can't coherently think so.
* Normative vs Metaethical Wrong-making explains what I think is wrong with a recently-published "moral argument against moral realism".
Self-Undermining Skepticisms -- argues that Street-style attempts to "debunk" normative realism will end up being self-defeating.
* Three options in the epistemology of philosophy compares skepticism, epistemic conservatism, and objective warrant views. (My sympathies lie with the latter.)
Judgmentalism vs Non-commitalism -- would an ideally rational agent ever suspend belief?

Moral Theory

* Deliberative Openness and the Actualism-Possibilism Dispute - arguing that agents should treat as deliberatively "open" (or within their control) just that which counterfactually depends upon the outcome of their present deliberations.  If your best present efforts can do nothing to influence your future decisions, then this "future self" should, for deliberative purposes, be treated as a distinct agent -- not someone who you can rely upon to carry out your present plans and intentions.  So, plan accordingly.
* Three ways of rejecting moral intuitions -- some more legitimate than others.
* Thoughts on 'Non-Consequentialism Demystified' -- is it a problem for a theory if it holds that reasonable choices and reasonable preferences diverge?
* Moral Theories and Fittingness Implications -- why the former have the latter.
* Wronging for Utilitarians -- not such a puzzle as some seem to think.
* Criterial vs Ground-level Moral Explanations -- a distinction that can help explain why various (e.g. motivational) objections to utilitarianism fail.  See also Rossian Utilitarianism.
* 'Objective Menu' theories of wellbeing -- the old 'list' metaphor is misleading.
* Questioning Moral Equality -- is there any interesting sense in which all people are truly "moral equals"?
* The Best Case for Voting -- invoking cooperative, rather than purely individualistic, utilitarianism.

Applied Ethics

* My paper 'Against "Saving Lives": Equal Concern and Differential Impact' was published in Bioethics.
* Is it OK to have kids? -- my article in Aeon Magazine.
* Procreative Externalities -- are additional people good or bad for those already here? (And more.)
* Good Lives and Un/conditional Value -- If good lives are not intrinsically good, it's hard to avoid the bleak conclusion that it'd be better had there never been life at all.

* GOP Closes Doors to Newborns -- satire, but distressing how little needs tweaking when you start from real quotes from politicians talking about Syrian refugees.
* Waiving Rights and "Second-class Citizens" -- there's something odd about objecting to extended guest-worker programs for the sake of the guest-workers who want to stay here and work.
* Basic Needs and Basic Rights -- why we should prefer a right to an efficient system over a right to free provision of basic needs like food and water.
* It's worth Thinking Realistically about Policy Outcomes.  So few seem to bother.
* Sex Selection and Gender Norms - rebutting a bad argument.

* Beyond Lip-service: betting for beliefs, donating for values -- given all that money can do, isn't it odd that we don't spend more on realizing our values?  If you don't donate to a cause, can you really be said to sincerely value it at all?
* Moral Priorities -- it's taboo to talk about moral tradeoffs.  It shouldn't be.
* Alas, so does Furrow on Eating Meat.  What's with all the bad arguments, people!?


* Baffling Philosophy -- what views do you find completely baffling / unmotivated-seeming?
* For a view that's much more compelling than people generally realize, check out Helen's 'Idealism Without God' -- a radically original rethinking of idealism.  (Better than Berkeley!)


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