Sunday, 22 July 2007

Ethical Theory

I have considerable interest in several areas of ethical theory.

1. Moral Status:
An area that I would like to undertake further research in is the question of what has moral status, that is whose interests do we have a prima facie obligation to consider morally. For any ethical theory this is an essential question to settle. Yet while there are several accounts of this presently available, each suffers from flaws either of including things that we think ought to be left out, or leaving out things that we think ought to be kept in. I believe that part of the problem here is that most theorists take one characteristic and claim that this characteristic is both necessary and sufficient for a being to have moral status.

2. Ethical Relativism:
In one of the papers I have been working on for awhile I make a new argument against one variety of Ethical Relativism, namely Ethical Subjectivism which claims that the truth of ethical claims is relative to the beliefs of individuals. This argument is that Ethical Subjectivism cannot be true since it is possible for people to believe contradictory beliefs. If this is true and Ethical Subjectivism is true then some of the time both A and ~A would be true. This clearly cannot be the case and so Ethical Subjectivism must be false.

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