Can Social Reflective Equilibrium Delineate Cornell Realist Epistemology?

Philosophia 51 (4):2015-2033 (2023)
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Cornell realism (CR), a prominent meta-ethical position that has emerged since the last decades of the twentieth century, proposes a non-reductionist naturalistic account of moral properties and facts. This paper argues that the best version of CR’s chosen methodology for arriving at justified moral beliefs must be seen as a variant of reflective equilibrium. In comparison to the traditional versions, our proposal offers a ‘social’ reinterpretation of reflective equilibrium in delineating CR’s epistemology. We argue that it satisfactorily accounts for objectivity and calls for the inclusion of the social nature of both moral and scientific inquiries. Emphasising the social dimension of their epistemological account also nudges debates in metaethics into incorporating the much-needed social dimension while dealing with questions of moral beliefs and facts that have been of CR’s concern.

Author Profiles

Sushruth Ravish
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Vikram Sirola
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay


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