Review of Shafer-Landau's Moral Realism [Book Review]

Ethics 116 (1):250-255 (2005)
G. E. Moore famously argued on the basis of semantic intuitions that moral properties are not reducible to natural properties, and therefore that moral predicates refer to nonnatural properties. This clearly represents a version of “moral realism,” but it is a testament to the strength of naturalist intuitions in contemporary philosophical debate that, insofar as one accepts Moore’s arguments, this is typically seen as a boon for antirealists rather than realists. For many philosophers worry that putative nonnatural properties would be too metaphysically and epistemologically queer to be admissible into our ontology. These philosophers conclude that if moral properties cannot be understood as natural properties, then it is more reasonable to abandon commitment to moral properties than to follow Moore into nonnaturalism. In this dialectical milieu, three positions have become popular. Naturalists argue that Moorean arguments are bunk; moral properties can be understood as natural properties. Constructivists argue that Moore was right that moral properties cannot be understood as objective natural properties—that is, the properties that are logically independent of the attitudes of human agents—however, quasi‐objective moral properties can be constructed out of the attitudes of human agents. And noncognitivists argue that moral predicates are nonreferential, and so the best understanding of moral discourse is one which does not construe it as committed to the existence of moral properties. Russ Shafer‐Landau’s new book is distinctive in that it argues against each of these three popular positions while developing and defending a contemporary nonnaturalist version of moral realism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/454384
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

155 ( #10,947 of 1,725,575 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #72,348 of 1,725,575 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.