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Thomas Pölzler: Moral Progress, Knowledge, and Error

When:We 03-04-2019 15:15 - 17:00
Where:Room Omega

Lecture by Thomas Pölzler (Graz), entitled:

Moral Progress, Knowledge, and Error: What are the Folk’s Implicit Commitments about Moral Objectivity?

According to several philosophers, lay people are committed to the view that morality is objective (i.e., independent from what we ourselves or anybody else think about it). This commitment has been claimed to manifest itself in various ways. Among others, it has been suggested that lay people believe in moral progress, the possibility of moral knowledge, and the possibility of moral errors. Existing psychological research on folk metaethics has addressed both explicit folk commitments (e.g. Goodwin & Darley 2008, Beebe 2014; Pölzler & Wright forthcoming; Zijlstra in press) and alternative manifestations of implicit commitments (Zijlstra forthcoming). Yet, objectivists’ hypothesis about moral progress, the possibility of moral knowledge, and the possibility of moral errors has so far not been tested. In a series of psychological studies my co-authors Lieuwe Zijlstra, Jacob Dijkstra and I currently attempt to fill this gap. My presentation will explain our studies’ motivation, their methodology, their results, and their implications for the philosophical debate about moral objectivity.

There will be drinks and dinner afterwards (on your own expenses) and if you would like to go to dinner with Thomas after his talk, please contact Lieuwe (l.zijlstra@rug.nl).