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The Moral Behavior of Ethicists and the Role of the Philosopher

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Abstract

Professional ethicists appear to behave no differently than do non-ethicists of similar social background. However, ethicists also appear to embrace more stringent moral norms than do non-ethicists, at least on some issues. Part 1 will summarize the empirical evidence. Part 2 will discuss one possibly attractive response: that an ethicist’s role is to espouse and defend moral norms, with no special obligation to live according to the norms she espouses and defends.

Keywords

  • Professional Ethicist
  • Moral Behavior
  • Moral Opinion
  • Special Obligation
  • York Time Magazine

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9781137409805_5
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References

  • Cohen, R. (2011) ‘Goodbye’, New York Times Magazine, Feb. 27 issue, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/magazine/27FOB-Ethicist-t.html.

  • Rust, J. and E. Schwitzgebel (2013) ‘Ethicists’ and Nonethicists’ Responsiveness to Student Emails: Relationships among Expressed Normative Attitude, Self-Described Behavior, and Empirically Observed Behavior’, Metaphilosophy, 44, pp. 350–371.

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  • Schwitzgebel, E. and J. Rust (2014) ‘The Moral Behavior of Ethics Professors: Relationships among Self-Reported Behavior, Expressed Normative Attitude, and Directly Observed Behavior’, Philosophical Psychology.

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  • Schwitzgebel, E. and J. Rust (forthcoming) ‘The Behavior of Ethicists’, in W. Buckwalter and J. Sytsma (eds), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy.

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  • Schwitzgebel, E., J. Rust, L. T.-L. Huang, A. T. Moore, and J. Coates (2012) ‘Ethicists’ Courtesy at Philosophy Conferences’, Philosophical Psychology, 25, pp. 331–340.

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© 2014 Eric Schwitzgebel

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Schwitzgebel, E. (2014). The Moral Behavior of Ethicists and the Role of the Philosopher. In: Luetge, C., Rusch, H., Uhl, M. (eds) Experimental Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137409805_5

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