In Search of Reasons to Care about Morality by Han Yongming

In Search of Reasons to Care about Morality

C.P. Ellis was once a hate-filled leader of a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. But he recants his racial bigotry after co-organizing a forum on educational desegregation, a forum at which he comes to see that what his society’s ideology had taught him about blacks was deeply mistaken. Not long after that, he becomes a civil rights activist and organizer for a union of mostly black women workers.

Examples like Ellis’ have been taken to suggest that we can come to care (or stop caring) about morally relevant things *for* reasons — that moral cares, in short, are responses to reasons. That is what theorists like Michael Smith, Stephen Darwall, Derek Parfit, and T. M. Scanlon hold. I’ll argue, however, that we can explain the ways in which such cares might seem reason-responsive, even if we hold that they are not based on reasons. Indeed, doing so gives us better, because simpler, explanations of the data.

Date: 10 January 2019, Thursday
Time: 2pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3-05-23)

About the Speaker:
Yongming is a philosophy graduate student at Brown University; his undergraduate work was done at NUS. His main research area is moral philosophy (especially moral psychology and metaethics), though he also has substantial interests in the philosophy of mind/language. His teaching interests include critical reasoning and introductory logic (and the ways in which the teaching and learning of these subjects can be informed by psychological research and facilitated by technology).

All are welcome

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