Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lycan on the relation between epistemic and moral value.

I'm redating this post.

It’s interesting that this parallel [between ethics and epistemology] goes generally unremarked. Moral subjectivism, relativism, emotivism, etc. are rife among both philosophers and ordinary people, yet very few of these same people would think even for a moment of denying the objectivity of epistemic value; that is, of attacking the reality of the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable belief. I wonder why that is?

See Lycan (“Epistemic Value” 137).

Labels: ,


At 8/14/2007 10:09:00 PM , Blogger Doctor Logic said...

Most who endorse moral relativism (and actually understand what it means) do so because they have reasoned their way to that destination. Specifically, they reason that no non-subjective, absolute basis for moral values has been found. Moral relativists have already claimed subjective value in rationality because they used that rationality to reach their conclusion.

Of course, it's not just philosophers who value rationality. Pretty much everyone claims some knowledge or belief, and that commits them to rationality. That's what makes rationality such a powerful persuasive tool. It's not that rationality has absolute value, but that anyone who attacks that value ends up undermining his own treasured/valued beliefs.

At 8/15/2007 06:59:00 AM , Blogger Hiero5ant said...

Philosophers are supposed to be good at drawing distinctions, rather than mushing separate issues together as though they were one thing. "Moral subjectivism, relativism, emotivism, etc." cover such a bewildering spectrum of mutually incompatible positions in the literature that running them together without an explicit reason to do so only muddles things; and based on my experience arguing with theist and atheist nonphilosophers on the internet, I flatly doubt that even %10 of them when using the term "moral subjectivism" mean it in any rigorous sense at all. Most of the time when someone is talking about "moral relativism" it turns out that they are not making a metaethical claim at all, but instead a first-order normative claim to the effect that "we ought to be more tolerant and less judgmental".

As for the claim that "yet very few of these same people would think even for a moment of denying the objectivity of epistemic value," I simply don't know what he's talking about. Pragmatists like Rorty deny epistemic objectivity, as do post-positivist empiricists like Quine or Van Fraassen.

I think the big problem comes after the semicolon: "denying the objectivity of epistemic value; that is, of attacking the reality of the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable belief." Granted most pomos like the folks at the Discovery Institute do deny that there is a distinction to be made, but certainly e.g. constructive empiricists do not.

I think what scares a lot of philosophers and nonphilosophers alike is that they hear the word "subjective" and think it's synonymous with "anything goes", and so they imagine the very idea of reasonable distinctions to be under attack from what are often rather modest theses about the processes by which humans gather knowledge about the world, and the extent to which these processes ought to be or even can be made independent from our prior beliefs and conceptual schemes.

For example, as you know, Bayesianism about probability is subjectivism about probability, but it certainly isn't the thesis that "anything goes", regardless of what other problems frequentists may find with it.

At 8/15/2007 09:18:00 AM , Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I was always underwhelmed by the small group of philosophers trying to find deep connections between normativity in ethics and in epistemology, or a kind of genus of which they are a species (other than simply different goals that are held in the two field). The same word is used, but this seems to be a case where they should be making a conceptual distinction. It always reads like a (merely) superficially interesting question in search of substantive content.

At 8/15/2007 12:30:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! I am trying to find Darek Barefoot's email contact. One webpage stated that he at times posts on this blog.

Please let me know if you know how I can contact him. My enquiry is in regards to many more dangerours subliminal photos that we have found in the watchtower literature - stuff that will make the public's head spin.

Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network

At 8/21/2007 06:40:00 PM , Blogger Victor Reppert said...

qdLycan is an interesting guy. A thoroughgoing naturalist in the philosophy of mind, he nonetheless uses his naturalistic world-view as a basis for a thoroughgoing pragmatism which takes truth out of the central position. I am told that he had an exchange with a former teach of mine, Fred Schmitt, that went as follows:

Schmitt: I'll be a truth man till the day I die.
Lycan: Reproductive fitness is where it's at for me.
Third philosopher: Truth is reproductive fitness.

Lycan has also co-authored a paper defemding Pascal's Wager which appeared in the popular introductory volume Reason and Responsibility. Although he is not a Pascalian theist, he nevertheless thinks most of the standard objections to the Wager are bad.

At 7/29/2016 06:21:00 AM , Blogger Fangyaya said...

gucci bags
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet clearance
cheap jordans
louis vuitton outlet
nike roshe run
adidas outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet
yeezy boost 350
mont blanc
timberland boots
michael kors purses
michael kors
michael kors handbags
juicy couture
oakley sunglasses wholesale
designer handbags
louis vuitton handbags
ralph lauren clearance outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
toms wedges
tory burch outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
christian louboutin outlet
hollister clothing
coach factory outlet
timberland shoes
ralph lauren polo
coach outlet
ghd hair straighteners


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home