Medi 2019

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“Sense and Sensitivity: How Snowflakes make metaethical hybrid theorists of us all”

Lleoliad:
Ystafell y Cyngor, Prif Adeilad y Celfyddydau, Prifysgol Bangor
Amser:
Dydd Mercher 25 Medi 2019, 18:00–20:00
Cyflwynydd:
Seminarau Ymchwil Hanes, Athroniaeth a Gwyddorau Cymdeithas
Cyswllt:
Dr Alexander Sedlmaier

“Sense and Sensitivity: How Snowflakes make metaethical hybrid theorists of us all”

Toby Betenson

Crynodeb

“Sense and Sensitivity: How Snowflakes make metaethical hybrid theorists of us all”

Moral insensitivity - characterised as a failure to be morally responsive or ‘see the wrong’ in something – is a pretty familiar concept, one that we feel confident enough in our understanding such that we can, e.g., recognise it when it happens and have some idea of the kind of thing that can work as a corrective (invite empathy, show a picture of a crying child, call to seriousness, “Can’t you see what this means? You’re not really ok with this, are you?!”, etc.). But can we be morally oversensitive? Can we see wrong where there is none? And how do we know when we are doing so? From a technical perspective, the possibility of moral oversensitivity presents a significant challenge to ‘response-dependence’ theories in metaethics. I argue that since moral oversensitivity is a legitimate dimension of appraising moral understanding, straightforward response-dependence theories (such as the empirical ‘sentimentalism’ of Jesse Prinz) cannot represent the whole story, pushing us to accept a metanormative hybrid theory. From a less technical perspective, this argument shows that there is at least one dimension of appraising the so-called ‘snowflake’ predisposition to taking offence: we can ask if there has been a misunderstanding in any given instance. If time allows, I will speculate further and suggest that there are more ways we can fall into the error of being morally oversensitive, in particular drawing on Raimond Gaita’s discussions of ‘depth and shallowness’.