David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):199-215 (1999)
Non-reductive moral realism is the view that there are moral properties which cannot be reduced to natural properties. If moral properties exist, it is plausible that they strongly supervene on non-moral properties- more specifically, on mental, social, and biological properties. There may also be good reasons for thinking that moral properties are irreducible. However, strong supervenience and irreducibility seem incompatible. Strong supervenience entails that there is an enormous number of modal truths (specifically, truths about exactly which non-moral properties necessitate which moral properties); and all these modal truths must be explained. If these modal truths can all be explained, then it must be a fundamental truth about the essence of each moral property that the moral property is necessarily equivalent to some property that can be specified purely in mental, social and biological terms; and this fundamental truth appears to be a reduction of the moral property in question. The best way to resist this argument is by resorting to the claim that mental and social properties are not, strictly speaking, natural properties, but are instead properties that can only be analysed in partly normative terms. Acceptance of that claim is the price of non-reductive moral realism.
|Keywords||meta-ethics metaphysics realism reduction supervenience|
|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
Ralph Wedgwood (2006). The Normative Force of Reasoning. Noûs 40 (4):660–686.
Zed Adams (2011). Moral Mistakes. Philosophical Investigations 34 (1):1-21.
Jeremy Randel Koons (2006). An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology. Philosophical Investigations 29 (3):250–274.
Similar books and articles
David Slutsky (2001). Causally Inefficacious Moral Properties. Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):595-610.
Nick Zangwill (1998). Supervenience, Reduction, and Infinite Disjunction. Philosophia 26 (1-2):321-330.
Matthew Chrisman (2005). Review of Shafer-Landau's Moral Realism. [REVIEW] Ethics 116 (1):250-255.
Nick Zangwill (2008). Moral Dependence. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 3. Oxford University Press 109-27.
Jordan Howard Sobel (2001). Blackburn's Problem: On its Not Insignificant Residue. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):361-383.
Justin P. McBrayer (2010). Moral Perception and the Causal Objection. Ratio 23 (3):291-307.
Maurilio Lovatti (1999). Peter A. Railton and the Objective Moral Realism. Per la Filosofia (45):99-109.
Jorn Sonderholm (2008). Why Supervenience is a Problem for Brink's Version of Moral Realism. Journal of Philosophical Research 33:203-213.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads75 ( #56,110 of 1,796,174 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #349,835 of 1,796,174 )
How can I increase my downloads?