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  1. Moral Facts and Moral Explanations.Debashis Guha - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1475-1486.
    The challenge of Gilbert Harman that there are no moral facts is robust, to an extent extreme and counts most for the realists underline moral facts and moral explanations. The paper begins with the absorbing challenge posed by Harman that ends in some sort of skepticism. After a brief exposition of nature of moral facts, the paper focuses on another interesting squabble whether or not we conceive of serious moral explanation that bridges the gap between theories/ principles, and our moral (...)
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  • The Explanationist Argument for Moral Realism.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I argue that the explanationist argument in favour of moral realism fails. According to this argument, the ability of putative moral properties to feature in good explanations provides strong evidence for, or entails, the metaphysical claims of moral realism. Some have rejected this argument by denying that moral explanations are ever good explanations. My criticism is different. I argue that even if we accept that moral explanations are (sometimes) good explanations the metaphysical claims of realism do not (...)
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  • Two Kinds of Naturalism in Ethics.Neil Sinclair - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):417 - 439.
    What are the conditions on a successful naturalistic account of moral properties? In this paper I discuss one such condition: the possibility of moral concepts playing a role in good empirical theories on a par with those of the natural and social sciences. I argue that Peter Railton’s influential account of moral rightness fails to meet this condition, and thus is only viable in the hands of a naturalist who doesn’t insist on it. This conclusion generalises to all versions of (...)
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  • Fictionalism and Meinongianism.Nathaniel Gan - 2021 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 36 (1):49-62.
    Fictionalism about a kind of disputed object is often motivated by the fact that the view interprets discourse about those objects literally without an ontological commitment to them. This paper argues that this motivation is inadequate because some viable alternatives to fictionalism have similar attractions. Meinongianism—the view that there are true statements about non-existent objects—is one such view. Meinongianism bears significant similarity to fictionalism, so intuitive doubts about its viability are difficult to sustain for fictionalists. Moreover, Meinongianism avoids some of (...)
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  • Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
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  • Moral Realism, Face-Values and Presumptions.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):158-179.
    Many philosophers argue that the face-value of moral practice provides presumptive support to moral realism. This paper analyses such arguments into three steps. (1) Moral practice has a certain face-value, (2) only realism can vindicate this face value, and (3) the face-value needs vindicating. Two potential problems with such arguments are discussed. The first is taking the relevant face-value to involve explicitly realist commitments; the second is underestimating the power of non-realist strategies to vindicate that face-value. Case studies of each (...)
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  • Moral Reality: A Defence of Moral Realism.Caj Strandberg - 2004 - Lund University.
    The main aim of this thesis is to defend moral realism. In chapter 1, I argue that moral realism is best understood as the view that moral sentences have truth-value, there are moral properties that make some moral sentences true, and moral properties are not reducible to non- moral properties. Realism is contrasted with non-cognitivism, error-theory and reductionism, which, in brief, deny, and, respectively. In the introductory chapter, it is also argued that there are some prima facie reasons to assume (...)
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  • A Functional Approach to Ontology.Nathaniel Gan - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):23-43.
    There are two ways of approaching an ontological debate: ontological realism recommends that metaphysicians seek to discover deep ontological facts of the matter, while ontological anti-realism denies that there are such facts; both views sometimes run into difficulties. This paper suggests an approach to ontology that begins with conceptual analysis and takes the results of that analysis as a guide for which metaontological view to hold. It is argued that in some cases, the functions for which we employ a part (...)
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  • Making Sense of Explanatory Objections to Moral Realism.Elizabeth Tropman - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):37-50.
    Many commentators suppose that morality, objectively construed, must possess a minimal sort of explanatory relevance if moral realism is to be plausible. To the extent that moral realists are unable to secure explanatory relevance for moral facts, moral realism faces a problem. Call this general objection an “explanatory objection” to moral realism. Despite the prevalence of explanatory objections in the literature, the connection between morality’s explanatory powers and moral realism’s truth is not clear. This paper considers several different reasons for (...)
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  • Moral Explanation.Brad Majors - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):1–15.
    Discussion of moral explanation has reached an impasse, with proponents of contemporary ethical naturalism upholding the explanatory integrity of moral facts and properties, and opponents--including both antirealists and non-naturalistic realists--insisting that such robustly explanatory pretensions as moral theory has be explained away. I propose that the key to solving the problem lies in the question whether instances of moral properties are causally efficacious. It is argued that, given the truth of contemporary ethical naturalism, moral properties are causally efficacious if the (...)
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  • Morality, Normativity and Measuring Moral Distress.Roger Newham - 2021 - Nursing Philosophy 22 (1).
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  • Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.
    Ethical reductionism is the best version of naturalistic moral realism. Reductionists regard moral properties as identical to properties appearing in successful scientific theories. Nonreductionists, including many of the Cornell Realists, argue that moral properties instead supervene on scientific properties without identity. I respond to two arguments for nonreductionism. First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. Multiple realizability can be addressed in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with properties of the special sciences. Second, (...)
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  • Moral Explanations, Thick and Thin.Brendan Cline - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-20.
    Cornell realists maintain that irreducible moral properties have earned a place in our ontology in virtue of the indispensable role they play in a variety of explanations. These explanations can be divided into two groups: those that employ thin ethical concepts and those that employ thick ethical concepts. Recent work on thick concepts suggests that they are not inherently evaluative in their meaning. If correct, this creates problems for the moral explanations of Cornell realists, since the most persuasive moral explanations (...)
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  • Multiple Realization and Expressive Power in Mathematics and Ethics.David Liggins - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    According to a popular ‘explanationist’ argument for moral or mathematical realism the best explanation of some phenomena are moral or mathematical, and this implies the relevant form of realism. One popular way to resist the premiss of such arguments is to hold that any supposed explanation provided by moral or mathematical properties is in fact provided only by the non-moral or non-mathematical grounds of those properties. Many realists have responded to this objection by urging that the explanations provided by the (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Andreas Lech Mogensen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    I consider whether evolutionary explanations can debunk our moral beliefs. Most contemporary discussion in this area is centred on the question of whether debunking implications follow from our ability to explain elements of human morality in terms of natural selection, given that there has been no selection for true moral beliefs. By considering the most prominent arguments in the literature today, I offer reasons to think that debunking arguments of this kind fail. However, I argue that a successful evolutionary debunking (...)
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  • Do Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Rest on a Mistake About Evolutionary Explanations?Andreas L. Mogensen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1799-1817.
    Many moral philosophers accept the Debunking Thesis, according to which facts about natural selection provide debunking explanations for certain of our moral beliefs. I argue that philosophers who accept the Debunking Thesis beg important questions in the philosophy of biology. They assume that past selection can explain why you or I hold certain of the moral beliefs we do. A position advanced by many prominent philosophers of biology implies that this assumption is false. According to the Negative View, natural selection (...)
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  • Recent Faces of Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):850-879.
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  • Intuitive Non-Naturalism Meets Cosmic Coincidence.Matthew S. Bedke - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):188-209.
    Having no recourse to ways of knowing about the natural world, ethical non-naturalists are in need of an epistemology that might apply to a normative breed of facts or properties, and intuitionism seems well suited to fill that bill. Here I argue that the metaphysical inspiration for ethical intuitionism undermines that very epistemology, for this pair of views generates what I call the defeater from cosmic coincidence. Unfortunately, we face not a happy union, but a difficult choice: either ethical intuitionism (...)
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