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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 2 HT08

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 2 HT08
Start Date 21st Jan 2008 4:30pm
End Date 21st Jan 2008 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Geoffrey Ferrari (Oxford), ‘Supervenience and Rightmaking’ to be held in the Lecture room at 10 Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JJ - Seminars in Moral Philosophy webpage


John Mackie asked what in the world the word “because” signifes in statements such as “What you did was wrong because it was deliberately cruel.” In this paper I develop the idea of an ethical “making” relation
as an answer to Mackie. I begin with a brief discussion of some formal and metaphysical questions, but the chief concern of my paper is to examine the prospects of analysing the ethical making relation in terms
of (single domain) supervenience. I argue that even in its best form, a supervenience analysis is neither necessary nor sufficient for ethical making.

I conclude my paper with an argument to the effect that, though supervenience may not illuminate ethical making, ethical making may illuminate the widely accepted supervenience of the moral on the non-moral. Moreover, because my argument is at least friendly to moral realism, it may permit an effective reply to Blackburn’s claim that moral realists cannot explain why the moral supervenes on the non-moral.

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