How Objectivity Matters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paperpresents a partly normative argument for metaethical objectivity, arguing that non-objectivist metaethical views (including expressivist ones) have highly implausible normative implications in cases of interpersonal disagreement and conflict. The paper first presents and defends a normative principle ("Impartiality") governing the resolution of certain interpersonal conflicts, and then proceeds to argue that this principle – together with a host of intuitively non-objectivist metaethical theories – entails unacceptable normative results. An appendix discusses the issue of metaethics' normative neutrality, suggests an interpretation of it (according to which metaethics is morally neutral if it conservatively extends morality), and argues that the argument in the main text shows that at least with neutrality thus understood, metaethics is not normatively neutral.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Metaethics
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameShafer-Landau (ed.) Oxford Studies in Metaethics


  • Objectivity; Morality; Disagreement; Conflict; Neutrality; Conservative Extension; Impartiality; Subjectivism; Expressivism; Response-Dependence


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