Program SJWiP 2015

10.00-11.00 Debbie Roberts (Edinburgh): "Explanatory Indispensability Arguments and Supervenience". Commentator: Henrik Rydéhn (Uppsala).


My aim in this paper is to defend explanatory indispensability arguments for the existence of *irreducibly* evaluative properties from the supervenience objection. A structurally similar explanatory indispensability argument and objection are found in the philosophy of mathematics. My strategy in this paper is to argue that a response to the supervenience objection is available that is structurally similar to a recent response made in the philosophy of mathematics case. My claim is that reductive realists in metaethics, like nominalists in philosophy of mathematics, have to take what has been called the ‘hard road’. And in metaethics, like in philosophy of mathematics, we have good reasons to think that this road is not navigable.

Debbie Roberts (unpub) Explanatory Indispensability Arguments and Supervenience

11.00-11.15 Coffee

11.15- 12.15 Björn Eriksson (Stockholm): "Moral Nihilism, Alief, and Moral Improvement”. Commentator: Katharina Berndt Rasmussen (Stockholm).


Arguably there is much to gain from having a morality. Moral nihilism may seem to preclude having a morality in the sense of having moral beliefs. I argue that this is in fact not any problem for the moral nihilist, since she can - and will - have moral aliefs. Aliefs of the moral variety will not be touched by the aliever’s moral nihilism and they permit the nihilist to reap the fruits of having a morality without having any moral belief. Some possible objections are also considered.

Björn Eriksson (unpub) Moral Alief and Moral Nihilism

12.15-13.40 Lunch

13.40-14.40 Lars Samuelsson (Umeå): "Buck-Passing and Non-Instrumental Reasons: A Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem". Commentator: Krister Bykvist (Stockholm).


The wrong kind of reason problem (WKRP) has been posed as a problem for the so called “buck-passing account of value” (BPA). Although WKRP has been discussed at great length, none of the suggested solutions has gained general acceptance, and it seems a common view that the problem is yet to be solved or that it cannot be solved. In this paper I offer a solution to WKRP which draws on the notion of a non-instrumental reason. I suggest that only reasons that are in a certain sense non-instrumental are reasons of the right kind, and that the reasons involved in the standard wrong kind of reason cases are all what I call “purely instrumental reasons”.

Lars Samuelsson (unpu) Buck-Passing and Non-Instrumental Reasons

14.45-15.45 Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm): "Normativity and Intentionality". Commentator: Nils Franzén (Uppsala).


The hard problem of intentionality is to explain what makes it the case that an
arbitrary sentence or thought has the semantic properties that it does rather than
some other semantic properties or none at all. Some hold that intentionality is
normative, and that this has a crucial bearing on the hard problem of intentionality.
This paper investigates whether this is so.
It is possible to distinguish four versions of the thesis that intentionality is
normative: a) grasp of a concept or meaning involves following a rule or making a
normative judgment of some kind; b) the concepts of meaning and content are
normative; c) meaning and content are sources of normativity; d) the semantic facts
are in some sense reducible to normative (and natural) facts. I discuss all four
versions of the thesis, and argue that the normativity of intentionality has little
bearing on the hard problem of intentionality.

Anandi Hattiangadi (unpub) Normativity and Intentionality

15.45-16.00 Coffee

16.00-17.00 Guy Fletcher (Edinburgh): "Moral Testimony: Once More With Feeling". Commentator: Frans Svensson (Stockholm).


The following claim is very common in philosophical discussions of moral testimony:

PROBLEMATIC: Pure moral deference seems problematic. 

In this paper I provide a new explanation of PROBLEMATIC, one that enjoys advantages over the most widely accepted explanation in the extant literature. The main theses of the paper are (1) that many forms of normative deference beyond the moral are problematic (2) that there is a common explanation of the problem with these forms of deference and (3) that this explanation means that these forms of deference provide evidence for some metaethical views (including some forms of moral realism).

Guy Fletcher (unpub) Moral Testimony: Once More With Feeling


Organizers: Jens Johansson (Uppsala) and Jonas Olson (Stockholm).

No registration and no fee. All are welcome!