David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Praxis 2 (1):30-44 (2009)
Metaethical relativists sometimes use an interesting analogy with relativism in physics to defend their view. In this article I comment on Erler’s discussion of this analogy and take the discussion further into methodological matters that it raises. I argue that Erler misplaces the analogy in the dialectic between relativists and absolutists: the analogy cannot be dismissed by simply pointing to the fact that we have absolutist intuitions – this is exactly the kind of objection the analogy is supposed to be a defence against. To decide if the analogy works we need to answer the following two questions: (i) Why does it work to say that people refer to relative physical properties (like simultaneity, mass and motion) even though they intend to speak about absolute physical properties? And (ii) does the answer carry over to the moral case? I argue for a specific answer to (i), and argue that it gives us reason to answer (ii) in the negative – so the analogy does not hold. However, looking at the issue more closely also raises questions about a fundamental assumption in metaethical discussion: perhaps we cannot assume that one single analysis holds for everyone’s moral judgments.
|Keywords||moral relativism causal theory of reference metaethcis relativism in physics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Maria Baghramian (2004). Relativism. Routledge.
Ragnar Francén (2010). No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
James Dreier (1990). Internalism and Speaker Relativism. Ethics 101 (1):6-26.
Torbjörn Tännsjö (2007). Moral Relativism. Philosophical Studies 135 (2):123 - 143.
Charles Sayward (1988). System Relativism. Ratio 1 (2):163-175.
Katinka Quintelier & Daniel Fessler (2012). Varying Versions of Moral Relativism: The Philosophy and Psychology of Normative Relativism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):95-113.
Steven D. Hales (2009). Moral Relativism and Evolutionary Psychology. Synthese 166 (2):431 - 447.
Berit Brogaard (2008). Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):385 - 409.
Ragnar Francén (2007). Metaethical Relativism: Against the Single Analysis Assumption. Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
Added to index2010-02-11
Total downloads14 ( #118,090 of 1,099,558 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #300,754 of 1,099,558 )
How can I increase my downloads?