Thick Concepts

Hardcover | May 1, 2013

EditorSimon Kirchin

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What is the difference between judging someone to be good and judging them to be kind? Both judgements are typically positive, but the latter seems to offer more description of the person: we get a more specific sense of what they are like. Very general evaluative concepts (such as good, bad,right and wrong) are referred to as thin concepts, whilst more specific ones (including brave, rude, gracious, wicked, sympathetic, and mean) are termed thick concepts. In this volume, an international team of experts addresses the questions that this distinction opens up. How do the descriptive and evaluative functions or elements of thick concepts combine with each other? Are these functions or elements separable in the first place? Is there a sharp divisionbetween thin and thick concepts? Can we mark interesting further distinctions between how thick ethical concepts work and how other thick concepts work, such as those found in aesthetics and epistemology? How, if at all, are thick concepts related to reasons and action? These questions, and others,touch on some of the deepest philosophical issues about the evaluative and normative. They force us to think hard about the place of the evaluative in a (seemingly) nonevaluative world, and raise fascinating issues about how language works.

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What is the difference between judging someone to be good and judging them to be kind? Both judgements are typically positive, but the latter seems to offer more description of the person: we get a more specific sense of what they are like. Very general evaluative concepts (such as good, bad,right and wrong) are referred to as thin con...

Simon Kirchin is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent. He is the author of Metaethics (Palgrave, 2012), and the editor of Arguing about Metaethics (with Andrew Fisher; Routledge, 2006), and A World without Values: Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory (with Richard Joyce' Springer, 2009). He is currently writin...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199672342

ISBN - 13:9780199672349

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Table of Contents

1. Simon Kirchin: Introduction: Thick and Thin Concepts2. Edward Harcourt and Alan Thomas: Thick Concepts, Analysis, and Reductionism3. Jonathan Dancy: Practical Concepts4. Simon Kirchin: Thick Concepts and Thick Descriptions5. Debbie Roberts: It's Evaluation, only Thicker6. Michael Smith: On the Nature and Significance of the Distinction between Thick and Thin Ethical Concepts7. Simon Blackburn: Disentangling Disentangling8. Pekka Vayrynen: Thick Concepts and Underdetermination9. Matti Eklund: Evaluative Language and Evaluative Reality10. Timothy Chappell: There are no Thin Concepts11. Nick Zangwill: Moral Metaphor and Thick Concepts: what Moral Philosophy can Learn from Aesthetics12. Eric Wiland: Williams on Thick Ethical Concepts and Reasons for Action13. Valerie Tiberius: Well-being, Wisdom, and Thick Theorizing: on the Division of Labor between Moral Philosophy and Positive PsychologyIndex