At the outset of the Republic, Polemarchus advances the bold thesis that “justice is the art which gives benefit to friends and injury to enemies”. He quickly rejects the hypothesis, and what follows is a long tradition of neglecting the ethics of enmity. The parallel issue of how friendship (and other positive relationships) affects the moral sphere has, by contrast, been greatly illuminated by discussions both ancient and contemporary. This article connects this existing work to the less explored topic of the normative significance of our negative relationships. I explain how negative partiality should be conceptualized through reference to the positive analogue, and argue that at least some forms of negative partiality are justified. I further explore the connection between positive and negative relationships by showing how both are justified by ongoing histories of encounter (though of different kinds). However, I also argue that these relationships are in some important ways asymmetrical (i.e. friendship is not the mirror image of enmity).
In Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer defends the error theory by rejecting all competitors to it. My aim here is to defend one brand of realism from Streumer’s objections: primitivim. The primitivist holds that there exist sui generis normative properties that do not supervene on any descriptive properties. It is argued that Streumer’s objections to primitivism can be met.
In Unbelievable Errors, I defend an error theory about all normative judgments, I argue that we cannot believe this theory, and I argue that our inability to believe this theory makes the theory more likely to be true. This précis gives a brief overview of my arguments for the error theory.
I argue that Hattiangadi’s, Evers’ and Tiefensee’s objections to my arguments for the error theory in Unbelievable Errors fail.
Lani Watson and Alan T. Wilson
This review essay provides a critical discussion of Linda Zagzebski’s (2017) Exemplarist Moral Theory (emt). We agree that emt is a book of impressive scope that will be of interest to ethical theorists, as well as epistemologists, philosophers of language, and philosophers of religion. Throughout the critical discussion we argue that exemplarism faces a number of important challenges, firstly, in dealing with the fallibility of admiration, which plays a central role in the theoretical framework, and secondly, in serving as a practical guide for moral development. Despite this, we maintain that emt points the way for significant future theoretical and empirical research into some of the most well-established questions in ethical theory.