Wholesale moral error for naturalists

Journal of Value Inquiry:1-13 (2023)
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In this paper, I show how realist moral naturalists can provide an intra-theoretic explanation of the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This is a requirement on metaethical theories that has been recently defended by Akhlaghi (2021). After clarifying Akhlaghi’s argument and responding to Evers’s (2021) recent rebuttal, I argue that even under the assumption that moral facts are grounded in an appropriate subset of natural facts (N-facts), there is still a non-zero probability of wholesale moral error. This is demonstrated by considering three types of epistemically possible scenarios: specifically, it could either be that N-facts do not actually exist, or that N-facts exist in a way that entails wholesale moral error, or that N-facts exist in a non-error theoretic way, but their existence is temporally restricted.

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