Partial Evidence: An enquiry concerning a possible affinity between literary moral cognitivism and moral pluralism

Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 19 (3):372-395 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This paper begins by affirming the view that if there is a debate to be had over whether literature can convey moral knowledge, then efforts by proponents to substantiate this claim will already be necessarily conditioned by an understanding of what morality consists in, independently of literature. This observation brings to light a certain danger for the debate, namely that if participants fail to explicitly specify the ethical theory that they rely on, then the debate can seem nebulous. This raises a new question: is there an account of morality, independent of literature, which is most conducive to literary moral cognitivism, that is, which optimises literary moral cognitivism's chances of succeeding philosophically? This paper both formulates and investigates this hypothesis with reference to moral pluralism, the view that there is an irreducible plurality of foundational moral principles. It concludes that such an affinity exists, but with an important caveat: the affinity is stronger at the level of moral suggestion than the level of moral justification. This has implications for the strength of the version of literary moral cognitivism that it is ultimately plausible to endorse from a moral pluralist point of view.
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-02-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
175 ( #23,330 of 48,961 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
43 ( #15,888 of 48,961 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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