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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 1 HT10

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 1 HT10
Start Date 18th Jan 2010 4:30pm
End Date 18th Jan 2010 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Nic Southwood (Oxford) 'In Defence of the Moral/Conventional Distinction' to be held in the Lecture Room, 10 Merton Street, Oxford - Seminars in Moral Philosophy webpage


The moral/conventional distinction, while profoundly intuitive, has proven persistently elusive. The distinction is typically explained in terms of either the content or normative character of the two kinds of judgements. Here, I develop and defend a new way of explaining the distinction, in terms of the grounds of the judgements. According to the Grounds View, conventional or social normative judgements are necessarily grounded, at least in part, in presumed social practices to which the judgements correspond. Moral judgements, in contrast, are essentially practice-independent in the sense that presumed social practices may constitute no part of their grounds. I argue that the Grounds View offers an intuitively compelling account of the distinction, that apparently serious objections to it can be answered, and that it represents a significant alternative to, and improvement on, its two more familiar rivals, the Content View and the Normativity View.

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