Counter-Objection Examples in Normative Theory

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2022

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In this paper, I aim to outline the structure of counterexample objection and provide some points for consideration regarding its methodological effectiveness. In order to highlight the peculiarities of counterexample objection, I closely study an example case of it, which would be Anderson’s harshness objection. Once the methodology of the objection and the subsequent literature are studied, I proceed to specify the analytical aspects of counterexample objection. In this regard, the trolley problem will be referenced for analytical peculiarities of hypothetical examples, alongside with the more specific accounts of Rawls and Sen made on the methodology of objection using counterexamples. After demonstrating that mechanism of counterexample objections requires an assumption on moral intuition, I highlight this aspect with reference to Warnke’s “hermeneutic turn” in political philosophy, while reiterating the incomplete theoretical role of hypothetical examples that has been manifested within the literature on the trolley problem. Finally, I conclude by insisting that the entire discussion confirms that the effectiveness of a counterexample objection in fulfilling its purpose – namely, defeating a normative principle – should be limited since the prerequisite condition of moral consensus is often too demanding: the fact which should thus be fully acknowledged when employing this method of objection.

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Cho, Hyeonseo (2022). Counter-Objection Examples in Normative Theory. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25329.

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