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July 6th, 2007

Norms and Analysis

For those of you that weren’t lucky enough to be in Sydney last week for the workshop on Norms and Analysis, here’s the blogged summary. Well, since I’m not familiar enough with issues in metaethics to give actually insightful commentary on the talks, I’ll just post the Limerick-form summaries written by Rachael Briggs after each talk, and refer you to the abstracts in the link above.
Julia Driver

Between sentiment and conviction
There really is no contradiction.
To make you agree with me,
I’ll call on the deity
And other examples from fiction.

Michael Smith

The things consequentialists teach
Can really be drawn out of Geach.
About my conclusion
There’s little confusion.*
(The premise, I grant, is a reach.)

Kristie Miller

Identity matters a lot, so
All persons endure. Objects? Not so.
That’s naturalistic
And relativistic,
No kidding! (You might not have thought so.)

Denis Robinson

I wonder, can any mere mortal
Survive through a teletransportal?
I’m sure that this fact
And my norms interact,
But is ‘person’ sincerely a sortal?

Daniel Nolan

Al Gibbard’s position on norms
Is something to which Daniel warms,
But his worry’s intense
When he tries to make sense
Of particular argument forms.

Dave Chalmers

Our standpoints may clash, but the two
Are equal from God’s point of view.
My claim that no one
Should kill kittens for fun
Is lower-case true, but not True.

Frank Jackson

There’s only one logical space.
It isn’t coherent to base
All one’s intuitions
On bogus partitions
With no real distinctions to trace.

David Bradon-Mitchell and Caroline West

At t, I will be a nonentity
With plans and desires that went to t.
Though I won’t survive,
It’s fine if I strive
For future goods. Who needs identity?

Roy Sorensen

Some evidence works when you learn it,
But still is misleading—so spurn it.
You needn’t be drunk
To be swayed by such junk.
Don’t open that envelope! Burn it!

Peter Railton

You might have thought all things affective
Were brute (or at least were elective),
But Railton inquires
And finds that desires
Are subject to reason’s directive.

Posted by Kenny Easwaran in Uncategorized

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2 Responses to “Norms and Analysis”

  1. petemandik says:

    Those are terrific. I hope philosophy poetry catches on.

  2. Russell Blackford says:

    Though an “is” alone won’t give support
    To a value, a norm, or an “ought”,
    If you mix on the fire
    Both belief and desire,
    You’ll get thought of an “ought” of a sort.

    I really wish I could have made it to this conference. The naturalistic bases of moral and legal normativity are exactly what my research is focused on right now. Sounds like you all had a great time, if one can judge by the limericks.

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