Thanks, We’re good: why moral realism is not morally objectionable

David Enoch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper responds to a recently popular objection to non-naturalist, robust moral realism. The objection is that moral realism is morally objectionable, because realists are committed to taking evidence about the distribution (or non-existence) of non-natural properties to be relevant to their first-order moral commitments. I argue that such objections fail. The moral realist is indeed committed to conditionals such as “If there are no non-natural properties, then no action is wrong.” But the realist is not committed to using this conditional in a modus-ponens inference upon coming to believe its antecedent. Placing the discussion in a wider epistemological discussion—here, that of “junk-knowledge”, and of how background knowledge determines the relevance of purported evidence—shows that this objection does not exert a price from the realist.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1689-1699
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume178
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.

Keywords

  • Junk-knowledge
  • Metaethics
  • Moral realism
  • Non-naturalism

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