David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):417 - 439 (2006)
What are the conditions on a successful naturalistic account of moral properties? In this paper I discuss one such condition: the possibility of moral concepts playing a role in good empirical theories on a par with those of the natural and social sciences. I argue that Peter Railton’s influential account of moral rightness fails to meet this condition, and thus is only viable in the hands of a naturalist who doesn’t insist on it. This conclusion generalises to all versions of naturalism that give a significant role to a dispositional characterisation of moral properties. I also argue, however, that the epistemological and semantic motivations behind naturalism are consistent with a version of naturalism that doesn’t insist on the explanatory condition. The conclusion is that those naturalists who are attracted to accounts of moral properties such as Railton’s would do better not to insist on this\break condition.
|Keywords||Ethical realism explanation naturalism Railton response-dependence|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1981). Philosophical Explanations. Harvard University Press.
David Owen Brink (1989). Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Railton (1986). Moral Realism. Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
Richard Boyd (1988). How to Be a Moral Realist. In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press 181-228.
Alexander Miller (2003). An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics. Distributed in the Usa by Blackwell Publishers.
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