Non-Naturalistic Realism in Metaethics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A good first pass at characterizing non-naturalist realism in metaethics is this, then: Like naïve realists elsewhere, the non-naturalist realist thinks of the relevant domain—in this case, moral thinking and talking—as entirely representational, attempting to capture a reality—now, moral reality—that is out there independently of our talking and thinking about it. Furthermore, the non-naturalist realist also thinks that in our better moments this attempt succeeds—that people do manage to think and utter straightforward truths about these normative facts and properties, as they do exist. On top of this, the non-naturalist realist thinks of moral facts, properties, and objects as ontologically exciting at least in the sense that they are unlike facts about the average weight of the male, middle-aged analytic philosopher: They are not reducible to or entirely grounded in other, non-moral facts, properties, and objects. Another positive argument for non-naturalist realism proceeds by analogy with indispensability arguments in the philosophy of mathematics.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Metaethics
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315213217
ISBN (Print)9781138812208
StatePublished - Aug 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-Naturalistic Realism in Metaethics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this