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Philosophy Speakers: David Copp (UC Davis), "Normative Concepts, Moral Judgment Internalism, and the Just Too Different Intuition"

Date & Time:
December 11, 2015 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Social Sciences Tower, Room 1256
David Copp - University of California, Davis

About the Talk

In this paper I argue for the importance and utility of two distinctions. The first is a distinction between what I shall call “internal” and “ordinary” ways of thinking of normative properties. The second is a distinction between “belief states” and “beliefs”.  Drawing these distinctions can help to illuminate a number of meta-ethical or meta-normative arguments and disputes. First, it can illuminate the dispute between motivational judgment internalists and externalists by identifying a potential source of their conflicting intuitions about the relation between normative judgment and motivation. Second, it can also, I believe, help to illuminate the dispute between normative naturalists and nonnaturalists. Normative nonnaturalists find normative naturalism to be hopeless in basic conception. Derek Parfit has said, for example, that just as “heat could not have turned out to be a cabbage,” so it could not possibly be the case that a normative property such as moral wrongness is identical to a natural property. I aim to defuse this “Just Too Different” intuition by deploying the distinction between different ways of thinking of normative properties. One need not be a normative naturalist to find these distinctions useful, but the distinctions are   especially helpful in the project of elaborating and defending a version of externalist normative naturalism.

About the Speaker

David Copp is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis.  He specializes in moral and political philosophy.

Link to David Copp's web page


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