David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Papers 39 (1):97-116 (2011)
This paper argues that we can acknowledge the existence of moral truths and moral progress without being committed to moral realism. Rather than defending this claim through the more familiar route of the attempted analysis of the ontological commitments of moral claims, I show how moral belief change for the better shares certain features with theoretical progress in the natural sciences. Proponents of the better theory are able to convince their peers that it is formally and empirically superior to its rivals, and the better theory may be promoted to the status of the truth. Yet there is no 'decision-procedure' for ethics any more than there is for molecular biology. The betterness of true theories can be grasped through what I term 'undirectional narratives' of progress. And while there are true moral claims and perhaps numerous moral truths yet to be discovered, we should reject currently popular forms of moral realism with bivalence. Some moral claims lend themselves to the construction of fully reversible, bi-directional narratives and are likely neither true nor false
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
David Bloor (1991). Knowledge and Social Imagery. University of Chicago Press.
James Bogen & James Woodward (1988). Saving the Phenomena. Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
Stephen L. Darwall (2006). The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability. Harvard University Press.
Michael Dummett (1959). Truth. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1):141-62.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Maurilio Lovatti (1999). Peter A. Railton and the Objective Moral Realism. Per la Filosofia (45):99-109.
Boran Berčić (2006). Devitt on Moral Realism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):63-68.
Christian Coons (2011). How to Prove That Some Acts Are Wrong (Without Using Substantive Moral Premises). Philosophical Studies 155 (1):83–98.
Joel Marks (2010). An Amoral Manifesto Part I. Philosophy Now (80):30-33.
Joel Marks (2010). An Amoral Manifesto Part II. Philosophy Now (81):23-26.
Pauline Kleingeld (1999). Kant, History, and the Idea of Moral Development. History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (1):59-80.
Richard Joyce (2002). Moral Realism and Teleosemantics. Biology and Philosophy 16 (5):723-31.
Russ Shafer-Landau (2003/2005). Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford University Press.
Ben Dixon (2005). Achieving Moral Progress Despite Moral Regress. Social Philosophy Today 21:157-172.
Added to index2010-07-27
Total downloads72 ( #18,389 of 1,096,632 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #20,075 of 1,096,632 )
How can I increase my downloads?