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The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 23, 2016

Aaron James
Pages 41-52
DOI: 10.5840/harvardreview201610124

On the Philosophical Interest and Surprising Significance of the Asshole

The term “asshole” might be of interest to philosophers for several reasons. It displays the power of philosophy to expose the implicit structure of ordinary thought. It suggests why we should not be able to answer certain skeptics on their own terms. It corroborates the idea of an “internal” connection between moral judgment and motivation. And it raises doubts about expressivism where it has the best chance of being true.