Against quietist normative realism

Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240 (2011)
Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than silencing metaphysical questions about normative reasons, his defense at best succeeds only in shifting the focus of metaphysical enquiry. I then set aside the details of Scanlon’s view, and argue on general grounds that that the quietist realist cannot finesse a crucial metanormative task: to explain the contrast between the correct normative system and alternative putatively normative standards.
Keywords Metaethics  Metanormative quietism  Metanormative realism  Normativity  Reasons  Scanlon
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9535-y
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Derek Parfit (2011). On What Matters. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Billy Dunaway (2015). Supervenience Arguments and Normative Non‐Naturalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):627-655.

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