Blog Profile / Atheist Ethicist

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:613
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:February 23, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Heathwood's Theory of Well-Being - Part 5 - Mental State Theories

Some philosophers do not like mental state theories, often for these two reasons: (i) a person can be radically deceived about his situation and still lead a good life according to such theories; and (ii) a life filled with only ‘‘base pleasures’’ is still a good one (at least according the mental state theory currently under consideration). Show More Summary

Heathwood's Theory of Well-Being - Part 4 - Heathwood's Subjective Desire Satisfaction Theory of Well-Being

Chris Heathwood seeks to defend a theory of well-being that he calls "Subjective a Desire Satisfactionism" ("Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism" (Philosophical Studies, 2006, 128:539-563). It's main elements are: (i) Every instanceShow More Summary

Desirism Book - Part 0015 - The "Location" Analogy

In the previous posting, I address the question of whether values are objective. They clearly are not objective in one sense. Values exist as relationships between states of affairs and desires. There are no values without desires; thus no "objective values" in this first sense. However, values are completely objective in another sense. Show More Summary

Reading Notes: Korsgaard on Hume and Moral Justification

If we find upon reflecting on the true moral theory that we still are inclined to endorse the claims that morality makes on us, then morality will be normative. I call this way of establishing normativity the ‘reflective endorsement’...Show More Summary

Morality Without Free Will

Well, I got a response to my email to Dr. Johnson. He seemed to raise no objection to the claim that people can still have reason to reward, praise, condemn, and punish even if there was no free will - if these tools worked to rewire the brain. Show More Summary

Heathwood's Theory of Well-Being - Part 3 - The Desire to Be Worse Off

It is time to get back to Dr. Chris Heathwood's desire-satisfaction theory of personal well-being. Heathwood is defending a thesis he calls Concurrent Intrinsic Desire Satisfactionism - a thesis that says that the quality of a life depends...Show More Summary

Morality in a Determined Universe

In preparation for going to graduate school, I have been reviewing some general philosophy. Specifically, I have been going through the lectures in, "The Big Questions in Philosophy" taught by King's College professor Dr. David K. Johnson. It...Show More Summary

Christine Korsgaard on Justifying Moral Justification

Christine Korsgaard has a theory for justifying justification. It is difficult to justify justification without begging the question. If you believe that a particular set of rules justifies a set of conclusions, how do you go about justifying...Show More Summary

Desirism Book - Part 0014 - The Truth About Value

Is value subjective, or objective? From what I have said so far, many would conclude that this is a subjectivist account of value. After all, for our one agent, Alph, gathering stones has value because he desires it. It is not the case that he desires it because it has value. Show More Summary

Reasons to Abandon Old Desires and Acquire New Ones

A couple of posts ago, in an open letter to Dr. Heathwood, I argued for a way of defending a desire-fulfillment theory of well-being from one objection raised against it. In that previous post, I addressed an objection that stated that...Show More Summary

Desirism Book - Part 0013 - The Value of Truth

We are looking at a world in which there is one person (Alph) with one desire (to gather stones), asking what is true about such a person in such a state. One question to answer is, "What is the value of truth?" Or, more accurately,Show More Summary

Unwanted Desires

The following is an email that I intend to send to Dr. Heathwood at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Heathwood: I beg your indulgence on this intrusion. I have just read your article "Desire Fulfillment Theory" (forthcoming in G. Show More Summary

Heathwood's Theory of Well Being - Part 2 Supplemental - Self-Sacrifice

In the last post I argued that a desire fulfillment theory of a good life has a problem with actions of genuine self-sacrifice. "Desire fulfillment theory (a.k.a desire satisfaction theory) says that a good life is a life in which a person gets what he wants. Show More Summary

Heathwood's Theory of Well-Being - Part 2 - Simple Desire Satisfactionism

The topic under discussion is "A good life" or what it means to be doing well. Simple Desire Satisfactionism is a theory of a good life that states that a good life simply consists in getting what one wants – fulfilling the most and strongest of one’s own desires. Show More Summary

The Myth that Atheism is the Lack of a Belief in God

I have been in discussion with some atheists recently regarding two of their more popular myths. By "myth", I mean false feel-good beliefs brought into a culture and embraced against all evidence. These myths are: (1) Atheism is theShow More Summary

On the Charge of Being an "Intellectual Lightweight"

Against both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, I have claimed that being an intellectual lightweight is a fault. I placed it in a list that also included hate-monger get bigotry and a disregard for the humanity of those who are not Americans. Yet,...Show More Summary

The Three Failings of Trump

It seems that the Republicans have selected Trump as their candidate for President of the United States. I was caught entirely by surprise - as were a great many others. The reason for my surprise is because I did not think people would actually vote for such poor candidate. Show More Summary

Heathwood's Theory of Well-Being - Part 1

I did not make it to Chris Heathwood's presentation on Friday... ... Or, actually, I did and saw that the presentation was being given in a small conference room - a table with about 12 chairs surrounding it. This gave me the impression...Show More Summary

Desirism Book - Part 0012 - The Reader's Point of View

I suspect that there are a number of readers who look at this life we are imagining in which Alph gathers stones, scatters them, and gathers them again with dread. It is absurd to say that there is any value here - to say that Alph has a life worth living. Show More Summary

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