The Skeptick's Tale [Book Review]

Any metaethicist tempted to dismiss a defense of moral intuitionism as too flaky to merit serious attention should think twice. Ethical Intuitionism is a forceful, clear, original, and intelligent piece of philosophy, and Michael Huemer can be proud of his efforts. He proceeds by identifying an exhaustive list of five possible metaethical positions, then knocks down four until only his favored intuitionism remains. One of the advantages of any such “last man standing” strategy is that even the most hardened opponent is likely to be cheering on the author at least a lot of the time: The noncognitivist will support the demolition of subjectivism, the naturalist will applaud the humbling of the noncognitivist, and so on. Speaking as a moral error theorist, I was myself nodding along as Huemer undermined first the noncognitivist, then the subjectivist, and then the reductive naturalist. Yet even here, where my sympathies lay firmly with Huemer’s negative conclusions, I could perceive avenues for reply against his charges. But I don’t at present have the luxury of space to speak in defense of those whom I would, on other occasions and on other grounds, myself attack. Let them tell their own tales. I remain more-or-less on Huemer’s side through the first four chapters, and it is not until he gets to the case against moral nihilism that my own favorite view comes under attack. Thus, for the remainder, I shall don my moral nihilist’s hat and speak against Huemer’s dismissal of that viewpoint
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Huemer (2007). Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
Michael Huemer (2007). Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30-55.

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Citations of this work BETA
Richard Joyce (2009). Is Moral Projectivism Empirically Tractable? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):53 - 75.

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