A Biological Alternative to Moral Explanations

Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):385-407 (2008)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Some moral realists claim that moral facts are a species of natural fact, amenable to scientific investigation. They argue that these moral facts are needed in the best explanations of certain phenomena and that this is evidence that they are real. In this paper I present part of a biological account of the function of morality. The account allows the identification of a plausible natural kind that could play the explanatory role that a moral kind would play in naturalist realist theories. It is therefore a candidate for being the moral kind. I argue, however, that it will underdetermine the morally good, that is, identifying the kind is not sufficient to identify what is good. Hence this is not a natural moral kind. Its explanatory usefulness, however, means that we do not have to postulate any further (moral) facts to provide moral explanations. Hence there is no reason to believe that there are any natural moral kinds.
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MILABA
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-08-25
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-09-14

Total views
73 ( #25,412 of 38,087 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #33,085 of 38,087 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.