e-book The Psychological Basis of Morality: An essay on value and desire

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Can normative words like "good," "ought," and "reason" be defined in entirely non-normative terms? Confusion of Tongues argues that they can, advancing a new End-Relational theory of the meaning of this language as providing the best explanation of the many different ways it is ordinarily used. Philosophers widely maintain that analyzing normative language as describing facts about relations cannot account for special features of particularly moral and deliberative uses of normative language, but Stephen Finlay argues that the End-Relational theory systematically explains these on the basis of a single fundamental principle of conversational pragmatics.

The Role of Morality on the Spiritual Path

These challenges comprise the central problems of metaethics, including the connection between normative judgment and motivation, the categorical character of morality, the nature of intrinsic value, and the possibility of normative disagreement. Finlay's linguistic analysis has deep implications for the metaphysics, epistemology, and psychology of morality, as well as for the nature and possibility of normative ethical theory. Most significantly it supplies a nuanced answer to the ancient Euthyphro Question of whether we desire things because we judge them good, or vice versa.

Normative speech and thought may ultimately be just a manifestation of our nature as intelligent animals motivated by contingent desires for various conflicting ends. Order: US — UK.

The Psychological Basis Of Morality: An Essay On Value And Desire

Everyone with an interest in normative language ought to read it. Those who would seek to defend naturalist views of the sort Finlay develops here will find it a treasure trove of dialectical resources that they will want to plunder repeatedly. Those who seek to attack such views or to defend rival views will find it a challenge it would be shameful to ignore. According to the Reasons as Explanations of Goodness hypothesis REG , the concept of a normative reason for an agent S to perform an action A is that of an explanation why it would be good in some way, to some degree for S to do A.

REG has numerous virtues, but faces some significant challenges which prompt many philosophers to be skeptical that it can correctly account for all our reasons. This paper demonstrates how five different puzzles about normative reasons can be solved by attention to the concept of goodness, and in particular observing the ways in which it—and consequently, talk about reasons—is sensitive to context ends and information. Plunkett, S. Shapiro, K. Toh eds.

Citations of: Desiring the bad: An essay in moral psychology - PhilPapers

Oxford University Press, [preprint]. While I suggest the term may be multiply ambiguous, I also find reasons for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported partly by sketching a special kind of hybrid view of normative judgment, perspectivism, that occupies a position between cognitivism and noncognitivism, naturalism and nonnaturalism, objectivism and subjectivism, making it more plausible that radically different metanormative theories could be about the same thing.

Gardner, L. Leiter eds. Speech and thought about what the law is commonly function in practical ways, to guide or assess behavior. These functions have often been seen as problematic for legal positivism in the tradition of H. One recent response is to advance an expressivist analysis of legal statements Toh , which faces its own, familiar problems. Shafer-Landau ed. According to content-relativist theories of moral language, different speakers use the same moral sentences to say different things.

Content-relativism faces a well-known problem of lost disagreement.

What Is Morality?

Recently, numerous content-relativists including the author have proposed to solve this problem by appeal to various kinds of non-content-based, or broadly pragmatic, disagreement. This presents content-relativists with a new problem—of found agreement.

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Which if any of these newly identified kinds of conflict is correctly identified as the lost moral disagreement we were looking for? This paper offers a critical comparison of different content-relativist proposals.

Objections to each are considered, and QED is tentatively found to be superior. Plunkett eds. Routledge, [preprint]. A critical survey of various positions on the nature, use, possession, and analysis of normative concepts. We frame our treatment around G.


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This includes love and affection toward parents, and also not letting parents suffer. In addition, you should take time to accompany them and take care of them when they are sick.

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Q: Providing materialistic support and caring to parents, which one is more important? A: Caring. Caring means try your best to let your parents enjoy their old age.


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He tries to elaborate his view on the role of a good son. What is right at this stage is thus to be loyal to the group, to trust, and respect the leaders, and to follow the rules set by the leaders. Group order is basically maintained by a style similar to parental control over children. Because filial piety in general refers to the respect and obedience to the superior by the junior. If the junior does not show respect and obedience to the superior, the superior might feel ignored or humiliated. If we live together in harmony, the conflicts between Joe and his father will not happen.

The emphasis with this subject is on respect and obedience to the superior or in general the group leader. When there is a conflict of interests between the primary group and an individual, people at this stage think that the rights, whether basic or relative, of the primary group should be protected at the expense of the individual. The norms of the primary group should be complied with by all means in all situations, and the interests of the group precede all the other things including social law, personal interests e.

In the extreme case, the person regards himself or herself as a member of the group forever: To live as a man woman of the group, and to die as a ghost of the group too. One of the common norms of a primary group is that members of the primary group, in particular the young and junior ones, have the responsibility to contribute to the primary group in order to maintain its survival and prosperity. In other words, the survival of the primary group precedes that of an individual. Q: Why would you give up the present job in the village if your mother suffers a stroke and wants you to come back?

Since I am the only one that can take care of her, I therefore have to go back to look after her. A: It is difficult to say, except that I feel I am the only one who can help members of the family. As for the job in the village which I give up, may be after I leave, there is still a chance that it will be carried out by someone else. But if I do not go back, there will be no chance for my mother to be taken care of by someone. One of the primary group norms is the norm of filial piety which prescribes that people should take care of their parents at the expense of their own development and interests.

The subject in the above case is willing to give up her job in the village which means that she is willing to give up her self-actualizing act to return to her country to take care of her mother. For each of the parameters psychological needs, altruism and human relationships, and justice reasoning , the differences in the developmental characteristics between stages are delineated in details.

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Moral Reasoning

Stage 1 places greater emphasis predominantly on the physical survival needs, that is, physiological and safety needs. The person acts and functions more or less like a pet. Some psychologists [e. The major features of the Stage 0 are basically innate and the behavior is quite similar to that of a wild animal. Stage 1 children have been socialized and have developed some pre-operational cognition While some of the animal characteristics e. For survival purposes and personal comfort, they act to obey their parents or other authorities.

The id is exclusively unconscious and consists of all the primitive inherited impulses, including the instincts of sex and aggression, present at birth. The id is said to operate in terms of the pleasure principles and functions in terms of the primary process. That is, the id attempts to avoid pain, reduce tension, and maximize pleasure or satisfaction irrationally.