Just Another Philosopher

This survey of what philosophers think is really interesting (though possibly not interpretable by the public, because the survey questions are so tersely stated). I'm just a bit surprised to learn that my answer matched the most popular response on almost every question. Biggest eye-opener (maybe)--72% of philosophers "accept or lean toward" atheism.


Wayne said...

I can't believe that 56% of respondents accepted or lean towards moral realism, or the 41% who believe that aesthetic values are objective...

Crazy Platonic realists.... I thought they had all died out years ago.

Jean Kazez said...

As I say, my responses match the most popular ones on almost all questions (ahem...who're ya callin' crazy?)

Faust said...

Terse indeed. "Other" is therefore well represented.

I definitely think "objective" aesthetics is crazy talk.

Moral realism I understand the motivation for, but...well. You know.

Wayne said...

An is is not an ought, and what we find in the world are "is"es. Everything else is a value judgement. Not to say that value judgements are massively relativistic. We can have reasons for saying one is better than another, but reasons does not make objectivity.

And I'm absolutely stumped at how one could justify aesthetic judgments as objective. Significant Form? Dispassionate interest? The Artworld says so? I need help Jean! Make me smarter!

Jean Kazez said...

Ha--the good thing about the survey is that it just asks you what your position is, not how you would support it.

What's so bad about thinking "reasons make objectivity"?

Faust said...

Because it's clear that the cateogry "reasons" includes many things that are clearly not objective.


Homosexuality is bad because the Bible tells me so.

There I just gave you a reason. Now you tell me that's a bad reason. I say OK how do we find "good" reasons? Then you give me the criteria for what constitutes good reasons. At some point you are going to wind up saying "reasons chosen according to these criteria will result in normative assertions that are "objectively" true.

So the argument is going to come down to whether or not we can find criteria which are definitive in a final way. That we will have found a set of value criteria that can be dispensed from a moral Archimedean point.

Some people think there are such reasons, that they can find reasons "that no reasonable person can reject."

The question begging aspect of such an assertion aside, I just have trouble figuring out how such moral Archimedean points are supposed to work. How will we know when we get there?

Wayne said...

Lol! Well I have to admit that I hold some pretty inconsistent beliefs too....

Having reasons for something doesn't make something objective, because objectivity itself implies some kind of existence independent of subjects.

So I can know things through reason, like a universal truth about triangles. But just because I reason about something doesn't mean that its objectively true.

All existent things are reasonable things, but not all reasonable things are existent things.

amos said...

Wayne: Could you explain what you mean by "all existent things are reasonable things"? I don't necessarily disagree with what you say: I simply don't understand it. Thank you.

amos said...

I signed in with my other email address, so signing in again.

Wayne said...

amos- All things that exist must follow laws of logic (i.e. be reasonable). So there can't be things like square triangles or God can't have the power to create a rock so heavy that he cannot himself lift it. But there can be perfectly reasonable things that don't exist. E.g. A cat with three ears.

So back to moral realism:
I can give perfectly reasonable arguments to suggest that murder is wrong, but that doesn't mean murder is actually wrong in reality.