Jaffro, L. (2019). Passing the Buck on Values: Parfit and Reasons Fundamentalism. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 102(2). https://doi.org/10.3917/rmm.192.0051
Derek Parfit borrows from T.M. Scanlon his reasons fundamentalism—that is, the idea that the role that defenders of value realism assign to values should be reassigned to reasons. If we follow Parfit in distinguishing between reasons as normative facts and the normatively important facts that give these reasons, a question inevitably arises: How can facts provide reasons? Are reasons to be understood as supervening on natural facts, or as grounded on nonevaluative properties? Or should we understand this relationship differently? Addressing some of the gaps in Parfit’s work on the metaphysics of morality, this paper tackles the issue from an epistemological rather than an ontological point of view.
L. Jaffro (2015). Reid on Aesthetic Response and the Perception of Beauty. In R. Cophenhaver and T. Burras (eds), Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value. Mind Association Occasional Series, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 124-138. https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733676.001.0001/acprof-9780198733676-chapter-9
The chapter deals mainly with the ‘Essay on Taste’, situates Reid’s position in the debate opened up by Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, and makes three points: the first about the nature of aesthetic perception; the second about its object, ‘excellence’; and the third about the location of beauty in the forms of nature or works of art, where excellence is expressed. Taste should be viewed as a social operation of the mind. In some cases, it involves a communication from God to human beings. The psychological approach to aesthetic perception must be complemented by a metaphysical account of what makes us feel the beautiful or the grand.
L. Jaffro, Are Moral Reasons Response-Dependent? (2015). Philinq—Philosophical Inquiries (ETS), 3(2), 17-34.
Some moral realists draw on the analogy between colours and values in order to claim that ‘desirability’ is a quality to which agents are sensitive under ideal conditions. The paper sets out objections to Michael Smith’s view that moral reasons are response-dependent and that they constitute the kind of reasons which would motivate ideal agents. The agent’s response to what appears to him or her morally desirable or morally mandatory is not a response in the same sense that our perception of a colour is a response to a disposition in the object to produce that perception. For a responsible agent appreciates values and reasons in the light of a plurality of moral considerations.
L. Jaffro (2006). What is Wrong With Reid’s Criticism of Hume on Moral Appreciation? European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2(2), 11-26. http://www.ffri.hr/phil/casopis/content/volume_2/EUJAP_4_jaffro.pdf
In his Essays on the Active Powers, Thomas Reid criticises Hume’s theory of moral judgment and argues that it is untenable. The aim of this paper is to show that Reid shares more with his target than is ordinarily acknowledged. The author suggests that the opposition between cognitivism and non-cognitivism concerning the role of feelings in moral judgment tends to obscure (disputable) assumptions held in common by both philosophers about the nature of feelings.