Séminaire de métaéthique

« Séminaire de métaéthique »


Les mercredis à 15h


ENS – 29 rue d’Ulm – 75005 Paris
Salle du Centre Cavaillès (3ème étage, droite)


organisé par Monique Canto-Sperber (CNRS/ENS/République des Savoirs) et
Stéphane Lemaire (Université de Rennes 1)


22 novembre 2017

James Lenman (University of Sheffield), « The politic of objectivity »


My project is to defend a modest possiblity claim. I think there could be a community of rational reasonable social animals who lived together in moral community regulating their lives by a complex system of broadly shared norms and values which they affirmed and adhered to. And I think it is possible for there to be such a community in a world in which the semantic, metaphysical and epistemological claims of robust moral realists were all false without the members of that community consequently falling into any errors or being subject to any illusions. If this possibility claim is true, that would, I take it, be dialectically rather bad news for those semantic, metaphysical and epistemological claims.

13 décembre 2017

Charles Larmore (Brown University), « La peur de la mort »

24 janvier 2018

Olivier Massin (CNRS/ Université de Zurich), « Grounding the normative »


There is a large consensus to the effect normative features (moral, legal, aesthetic, epistemic…) are somehow necessitated by and grounded in (i.e. explained by) non-normative ones (psychological, psychological, social…). The consensus cracks, however, when one tries to spell out how exactly normative features are so necessitated/grounded. One main recent locus of disagreement is found in the debate over whether the necessitation/grounding relation at stake is metaphysical, or constitutes a new sui generis form of normative necessitation/grounding. After having given an overview of that debate, I shall suggest that, depending on the cases, they are in fact many different ways in which the normative is necessitated by and grounded in the natural, so that looking for a single account of the necessitation/grounding relations between the natural and the normative may lead us astray.

14 février 2018

Nils Franzén (University of Uppsala), « Valuative discourse and emotive states of mind »


Expressivists maintain that evaluative discourse expresses desire-like states of mind in a similar way to how ordinary descriptive language expresses beliefs. Conjoining an ordinary assertion that p with the denial of being in the corresponding belief-state that p famously gives rise to Moorean infelicity:

(1) # It’s raining but I don’t believe that it’s raining.

If the expressivist is right then conjoining evaluative statements with the denial of being in the desire-like state of mind that is presumably expressed by such statements, should give rise to similar infelicity. However, as several theorists have pointed out, this does not seem to be the case. Statements like the following are not infelicitious:

(2) Murder is wrong but I don’t disapprove of it.

In this talk, I argue that evaluative discourse expresses the kind of states that are attributed by ‘find’- constructions in English (corresponding to ‘trouver que’ in French), and that these states are non-cognitive in nature. This addresses the problem of missing Moorean infelicity for expressivism, and it also tells us some interesting things about evaluative discourse in general.

14 mars 2018

David Enoch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), titre à venir.

4 avril 2018 (horaires exceptionnels : 15h30-17h30)

Pekka Vayrynen (University of Leeds), « Normative Explanation Unchained »

30 mai 2018

Michele Palmira (University of Barcelona & LOGOS Research Group), « How to Respond Rationally to Moral Disagreement »


In this talk I tackle the question of how we should respond to moral disagreement with our acknowledged epistemic peers. In the first part of the talk I examine and criticise two answers to this question: the conciliatory answer maintaining that we should suspend judgement, and the steadfast answer claiming that we should retain our beliefs. My main line of criticism is developed around the idea that both answers fail to appreciate the multifaceted nature of moral disagreement. In the second part of the talk I outline a third-way answer, which hinges on two main contentions. First, disagreement is evidence which should lead the peers to re-assess their epistemic position vis-à-vis the issue at stake. Secondly, this re-assessment, which can result in various outcomes depending on the specific disagreement case at stake, can be rationally carried out while entertaining a sui generis doxastic attitude which I call “hypothesis”. In the third part of the talk I test my third-way answer against various cases of moral disagreement in order to show that it fares better than its conciliatory and steadfast rivals.

13 juin 2018

Laura et François Schroeter (Melbourne University), « To be donedness »

Organisé conjointement par la République des Savoirs et l’IJN
avec le soutien du labex TransferS