Moral Disagreement (5 of 6)
In this lecture, Stephen Stich attempts to answer the questions - Is moral disagreement fundamental? Can all moral disagreements be shown to be the result of disagreements about non-moral facts? Both moral realists and anti-realists agree that if it can't be shown, then moral realism is a dead end. He takes a look at the data of several studies including the ethics of Hopi Indians, cultures of honor, the differences between American southern gentlemen and their northern counterparts, and the differences between Western and Asian conceptions of self and their relation to each culture's morality.
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Stich is primarily known in philosophy for his work in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, epistemology, and moral psychology. In philosophy of mind and cognitive science, Stich (1983) has argued for a form of eliminative materialism—the view that talk of the mental should be replaced with talk of its physical substrate. Since then, however, he has changed some of his views on the mind. See Deconstructing the Mind (1996) for his more recent views. In epistemology, he has explored (with several of his colleagues) the nature of intuitions using the techniques of experimental philosophy, especially epistemic intuitions that vary among cultures. This work reflects a general skepticism about conceptual analysis and the traditional methods of analytic philosophy. In The Fragmentation of Reason he briefly sketched a form of epistemic relativism "in the spirit of pragmatism."