On the Theoretical Significance of G. A. Cohen’s Fact-Insensitivity Thesis

Res Publica 23 (2):245-53 (2017)
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G. A. Cohen’s claim that fundamental principles are ‘fact-insensitive’ has not received an especially warm welcome from the philosophical community. While some philosophers have expressed doubts about the plausibility of his claim, others have complained that even if his thesis is true, it is also relatively insignificant. In my paper, I argue that the fact-insensitivity thesis, if true, provides considerable support for value pluralism, and is thus of interest for that reason. Though Cohen himself assumes a plurality of fundamental principles, he never argues that the fact-insensitivity thesis supports this assumption. One of my paper’s aims, then, is to fill an argumentative gap in Cohen’s meta-ethical framework.
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