Moral and epistemic open-question arguments

Philosophical Books 50 (2):83-98 (2009)
Abstract
An important and widely-endorsed argument for moral realism is based on alleged parallels between that doctrine and epistemic realism -- roughly the view that there are genuine epistemic facts, facts such as that it is reasonable to believe that astrology is false. I argue for an important disanalogy between moral and epistemic facts. Epistemic facts, but not moral facts, are plausibly identifiable with mere descriptive facts about the world. This is because, whereas the much-discussed moral open-question argument is compelling, the little-discussed epistemic open-question argument is not. This paper is a critical notice of Terence Cuneo's The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism (Oxford University Press, 2007).
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