Pragmatist Metaethics: an Approach to Moral Truths and Moral Inquiry

Dissertation, University of Sussex (2021)
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Pragmatism is typically understood as a philosophy embedded in scientific inquiry. Thinkers, like Charles Peirce (1877), C.I. Lewis (1923) and Susan Haack (1998) envisioned pragmatism and its scientific inquiry as a method of systematizing our beliefs and acquiring knowledge. They thought that scientific practice and its implied standards, techniques, and values is the only source of hope for scientific and philosophical progress. In this dissertation, I construct a pragmatic approach to the meta-ethical questions of our moral truths, beliefs and principles that proposes a normative systematization of ethics grounded in moral practice, development and experimentation. I argue that maintaining a pragmatic faith in the origination and formation of our moral constitutions will provide us with a realist, cognitivist and objective view of reality subject to the capacities of our human cognition and empirical evidence and not subject to metaphysical and universal methods of reasoning.

Author's Profile

Iosifia Symeonidou
University of Sheffield (PhD)


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