Moral Realism

Edited by David Killoren (Australian Catholic University)
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  1. Evolution and Utilitarianism.François Jaquet - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1151-1161.
    Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer have recently provided an evolutionary argument for utilitarianism. They argue that most of our deontological beliefs were shaped by evolution, from which they conclude that these beliefs are unjustified. By contrast, they maintain that the utilitarian belief that everyone’s well-being matters equally is immune to such debunking arguments because it wasn’t similarly influenced. However, Guy Kahane remarks that this belief lacks substantial content unless it is paired with an account of well-being, and he adds (...)
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  2. Theism and Explanationist Defenses of Moral Realism.Andrew Brenner - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (4):447-463.
    Some moral realists have defended moral realism on the basis of the purported fact that moral facts figure as components in some good explanations of non-moral phenomena. In this paper I explore the relationship between theism and this sort of explanationist defense of moral realism. Theistic explanations often make reference to moral facts, and do so in a manner which is ineliminable in an important respect – remove the moral facts from those explanations, and they suffer as a result. In (...)
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  3. Are All Things Permissible?: A Look at Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors".Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    In this essay I examine the moral message presented in Woody Allen's film, "Crimes and Misdemeanors.".
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  4. Compassionate Moral Realism.Colin Marshall - 2018 - Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
    This book offers a ground-up defense of objective morality, drawing inspiration from a wide range of philosophers, including John Locke, Arthur Schopenhauer, Iris Murdoch, Nel Noddings, and David Lewis. The core claim is compassion is our capacity to perceive other creatures' pains, pleasures, and desires. Non-compassionate people are therefore perceptually lacking, regardless of how much factual knowledge they might have. Marshall argues that people who do have this form of compassion thereby fit a familiar paradigm of moral goodness. His argument (...)
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  5. Metaethical Quietism.Douglas Kremm & Karl Schafer - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 643-658.
  6. Access Problems and Explanatory Overkill.Silvia Jonas - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2731-2742.
    I argue that recent attempts to deflect Access Problems for realism about a priori domains such as mathematics, logic, morality, and modality using arguments from evolution result in two kinds of explanatory overkill: the Access Problem is eliminated for contentious domains, and realist belief becomes viciously immune to arguments from dispensability, and to non-rebutting counter-arguments more generally.
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  7. Darwinism in Metaethics: What If the Universal Acid Cannot Be Contained?Eleonora Severini & Fabio Sterpetti - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):1-25.
    The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point is that an epistemic disanalogy (...)
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  8. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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  9. What Kind of Theory is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):322-342.
    I consider an underappreciated problem for proponents of the Humean theory of motivation. Namely, it is unclear whether is it to be understood as a largely psychological or largely metaphysical theory. I show that the psychological interpretation of HTM will need to be modified in order to be a tenable view and, as it will turn out, the modifications required render it virtually philosophically empty. I then argue that the largely metaphysical interpretation is the only a plausible interpretation of HTM's (...)
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  10. Nietzsche on Taste: Epistemic Privilege and Anti-Realism.Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (1-2):31-65.
    The central aim of this article is to argue that Nietzsche takes his own taste, and those in the relevant sense similar to it, to enjoy a kind of epistemic privilege over their rivals. Section 2 will examine the textual evidence for an anti-realist reading of Nietzsche on taste. Section 3 will then provide an account of taste as an ‘affective evaluative sensibility’, asking whether taste so understood supports an anti-realist reading. I will argue that it does not and that (...)
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  11. Patañjali’s Yoga: Universal Ethics as the Formal Cause of Autonomy.Shyam Ranganathan - 2017 - In The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Ethics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 177-202.
    Yoga is a nonspeciesist liberalism, founded in a moral non-naturalism, which identifies the essence of personhood as the Lord, defined by unconservative self-governance—an abstraction from each of us that is non-proprietary. According to Yoga, the right is defined as the approximation of the regulative ideal (the Lord) and the good is the perfection of this practice, which delivers us from a life of coercion into a personal world of freedom. It is an alternative to Deontology, Consequentialism, and Virtue Ethics, which (...)
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  12. Vedānta – Rāmānuja and Madhva: Moral Realism and Freedom Vs. Determinism (Ethics 1, M11).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
    Vedānta has two meanings. The first is the literal sense – “End of Vedas” – and refers to the Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads—the latter part of the Vedas. The second sense of “Vedanta” is a scholastic one, and refers to a philosophical orientation that attempts to explain the cryptic Vedānta Sūtra (Brahma Sūtra) of Bādarāyaṇa, which aims at being a summary of the End of the Vedas. In the previous module, I review the ethics of the End of the Vedas and (...)
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  13. Ethics and Reality (Ethics-1, M06).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
    In this lesson, I explore three areas of intersection between ethics and metaphysics: accounts of the self, the reality of value, and basic distinctions in ethical theory. I compare the account of the self as a chariot from the Kaṭha Upaniṣad (Deontology), early Buddhism from Questions of King Milinda (Consequentialism), and Plato's Phaedrus (Virtue Ethics). In each case, the metaphysical model is continuous with the moral theory of the same perspective and adopted to accommodate the moral theory. I also compare (...)
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  14. Moral Realism.James C. Klagge & Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):921.
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  15. Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics.Robert Shaver & David O. Brink - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):458.
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  16. Reductionist Moral Realism and the Contingency of Moral Evolution.Max Barkhausen - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):662-689.
    Reductionist forms of moral realism, such as naturalist realism, are often thought immune to epistemological objections that have been raised against nonnaturalist realism in the form of reliability worries or evolutionary debunking arguments. This article establishes that reductionist realist views can only explain the reliability of our moral beliefs at the cost of incurring repugnant first-order conclusions.
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  17. Moral Realism.Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1989 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    '...the book is very dense with ideas...arguments concerning innumerable interesting points are always worth pondering.'-THE PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW.
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  18. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts (...)
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  19. Realism, Rational Action, and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Melissa Barry - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):231-242.
    Realists about practical reasons agree that judgments regarding reasons are beliefs. They disagree, however, over the question of how such beliefs motivate rational action. Some adopt a Humean conception of motivation, according to which beliefs about reasons must combine with independently existing desires in order to motivate rational action; others adopt an anti-Humean view, according to which beliefs can motivate rational action in their own right, either directly or by giving rise to a new desire that in turn motivates the (...)
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  20. Terence CUNEO, The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2010 - Ithaque 7:131-135.
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  21. Aristotle's Moral Realism Reconsidered: Phenomenological Ethics.Pavlos Kontos - 2013 - Routledge.
    This book elaborates a moral realism of phenomenological inspiration by introducing the idea that moral experience, primordially, constitutes a perceptual grasp of actions and of their solid traces in the world. The main thesis is that, before any reference to values or to criteria about good and evil—that is, before any reference to specific ethical outlooks—one should explain the very materiality of what necessarily constitutes the ‘moral world’. These claims are substantiated by means of a text- centered interpretation of Aristotle’s (...)
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  22. Charles Larmore e Alain Renaut, Dibattito sull’etica. Idealismo o realismo (Roma: Meltemi, 2007). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 2007 - ReF - Recensioni Filosofiche 23.
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  23. Solving the Is-Ought Problem [Major Update Required, Draft Work Currently Removed].Gregor Flock - manuscript
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  24. Review of Erik J. Wielenberg’s “Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism”. [REVIEW]Thomas Pölzler - 2015 - Ethical Perspectives 22 (3):509-513.
    Erik Wielenberg’s new book Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism aims at defending a non-theistic of ‘robust normative realism’: the metaethical view that normative properties exist, and have four features: (1) objectivity, (2) non-naturalness, (3) irreducibility, and (4) causal inertness. In my review I criticize that Wielenberg does not address semantic issues which are crucial both to defending robust normative realism, and to assessing the empirical claims he makes. Moreover, and relatedly, I suggest that Wielenberg’s main (...)
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  25. Moral Realism and Faultless Disagreement.Daniel Cohnitz - 2016 - Ratio 29 (2):202-212.
    Is moral realism compatible with the existence of moral disagreements? Since moral realism requires that if two persons are in disagreement over some moral question at least one must be objectively mistaken, it seems difficult to uphold that there can be moral disagreements without fault. Alison Hills argued that moral realism can accommodate such disagreements. Her strategy is to argue that moral reasoners can be faultless in making an objectively false moral judgement if they followed the relevant epistemic norm, i.e. (...)
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  26. Blessed Are the Peacemakers.Simon Blackburn - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):843-853.
    In this paper I explore the points of similarity and difference that distinguish expressivists such as myself from the position known as Cornell realism. I argue that there are considerable overlaps of doctrine, although these doctrines are arrived at in very different ways. I urge that Cornell realism can only benefit by taking on some of the commitments of expressivism.
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  27. Teleological Moral Realism : An Explication and Defense.David Eric Alexander - unknown
    Contemporary moral realists assume that goodness is a property susceptible to Kripkean/Putnamian developments in philosophy of language and metaphysics. However, close attention to the actual use of the term ‘good’ reveals that ‘good’ does not refer to a property but to a predicate-forming functor. Relying on an argument advanced by P. T. Geach, I argue that the semantics of ‘good’ is such that statements of the form “x is good” are semantically incomplete. In order to complete such statements some substantive (...)
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  28. W.D. Falk's Alternative to Moral Realism and Anti-Realism.Andrew Piker - unknown
    During the recent surge of activity in the moral realism debate, little attention has been paid to the possibility of developing a plausible moderate alternative to moral realism and antirealism. I argue, however, that David Falk's moral theory provides us with such an alternative. In responding to G E Moore's ethics, Falk moves toward a middle ground between realism and antirealism. I show that this movement enables him to deal successfully with certain problems encountered by Moorean and non-Moorean realists, while (...)
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  29. Motivation and Moral Realism.Michael Andrew Smith - 1989
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  30. An Enquiry Into Moral Realism.Gerald Lang - 1994
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  31. Being True to the World Moral Realism and Practical Wisdom.Jonathan A. Jacobs - 1990
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  32. The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism. [REVIEW]Antonio Gaitán Torres - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):333-337.
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  33. A Critique of Assimilative Moral Realism.Ken Yasenchuk - 1995 - Dissertation, Mcmaster University (Canada)
    David Brink, in his book Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics, and other writers, have recently offered powerful new arguments for a form of moral realism that sees moral inquiry as being "on par" with scientific inquiry in many important epistemological and metaphysical respects. I call this theory "Assimilative Moral Realism" . AMR is marked by naturalism about moral facts, and by empiricism about moral knowledge. Moral facts are held to be facts about properties that are constituted by, and (...)
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  34. Moral Realism: From Metaphysics to Ethics as Action.Keith Edward Burkum - 1998 - Dissertation, Vanderbilt University
    The focus of this project, Moral Realism: From Metaphysics To Ethics As Action, is to show that the effort to ground ethics in metaphysics is profoundly misguided. Various accounts of moral realism are discussed as leading examples of the effort to support the authority of ethics by means of metaphysical realism. These views require adherance both to the theses of globalism and precision which jointly imply the construction of ethics as system of thought split between the first-order and second-order levels (...)
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  35. Marcel S. Lieberman, Commitment, Value, and Moral Realism. [REVIEW]John Mizzorri - 2000 - Philosophy in Review 20:47-50.
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  36. What is Goodness? An Introduction.Deborah Achtenberg - 1982 - Dissertation, New School for Social Research
    The inquiry is an introduction to the question, what is goodness? In it, realist and anti-realist accounts are considered. In Part I, two kinds of anti-realism are considered, subjectivist and strict. Subjectivism is the belief that goodness is belief-, affect-, or convention-dependent. It is suggested that subjectivism is based on an equivocation, is circular or is difficult consistently to maintain. Strict anti-realism is the belief that there is and can be no such thing as goodness. Three strict anti-realists are considered: (...)
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  37. Aristotle's Relationship to Moral Realism and Natural Law.James Joseph Flynn - 1995 - Dissertation, Fordham University
    This study is an investigation into Aristotle's ethical system as regards the question of whether it is a true instance of moral realism, and, in particular, whether it is a genuine case of natural law ethics. Moral realism, as I define it, includes any ethical position that asserts that ethical judgments are true or false insofar as they correspond to a reality that is in some way independent of the person or culture making the ethical judgment. For example, whether slavery (...)
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  38. Moral Realism and Other Issues.Eva D. Bodanszky - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  39. Morality, Meaning and Realism.Douglas Joel Butler - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Moral realism is developed as the view that moral language is mind-independent, specifically that moral sentences relate to something other than our socially constructed conventions, in such a way that: each moral sentence is rendered determinately true or false simpliciter; some affirmative moral sentences are true; and we are possibly unable in principle to determine the truth or the falsity of moral sentences. Three further results are defended. Moral realism is shown to be compatible with moral pluralism. Moral realism need (...)
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  40. Moral Realism and Justification.Ph Blosser - 1990 - Philosophia Reformata 55:177.
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  41. Moral Realism: A Defense.David Owen Brink - 1985 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    I defend moral realism against various metaphysical and epistemological objections and develop a utilitarian specification of moral realism. ;Chapter 1. Moral realism is the claim that there are moral facts whose existence and nature are independent of our evidence for them. Moral realism derives appeal from the plausibility of realism about other disciplines and from the way we deliberate in moral matters. ;Chapter 2. Moral realism is not undermined by general epistemological objections. Realists can and should degend a coherentist epistemology. (...)
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  42. The Nature of Moral Judgments: Expressivism Vs. Descriptivism.Xiaomei Yang - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    What is the nature of moral judgments? This question can be asked in a more specific way: When one sincerely utters a moral judgment, what does one express? A belief the content of which represents moral facts or properties, and is truth-apt, or a non-cognitive attitude the content of which does not represent moral facts or properties, and is not truth-apt? If moral judgments assert moral facts or properties, what are moral facts or properties? If moral judgments express beliefs, how (...)
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  43. Ontological Bases of Morality: Moral Realism and Phenomenological Praxeology.J. Vejs - 1989 - Analecta Husserliana 27:289.
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  44. Must Values Be Objective?D. Khashaba - 2003 - Philosophy Pathways 59.
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  45. Reviewed Work: Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas by Everett W. Hall. [REVIEW]Samuel E. Gluck - 1962 - Journal of Philosophy 59 (13):359-362.
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  46. Ethics as a Science.Charles W. Super - 1914 - International Journal of Ethics 24 (3):265-81.
  47. Putnam, Hilary. The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002. [REVIEW]Roderick Long - 2006 - Reason Papers 28:125-131.
  48. Seeing Aspects, Seeing Value.Joe Fearn - 1998 - Sorites 9:32-45.
    This paper is a defense of moral realism. It claims that Hume's projectivism and abuse of resultance has led us to gross distortions of non-cognitivist ethics. The analogy of moral properties with secondary properties is noted, before offering a stronger theory of moral realism. This theory recognises moral properties as constituting part of the manifest image, in a way that is satisfactory both ontologically and epistemologically This involves a rejection of austere, scientific reductionism. This model of moral realism relies on (...)
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  49. Pragmatic Moral Realism: A Transcendental Defense.Sami Pihlström (ed.) - 2005 - Rodopi.
    This book examines the issue of moral realism from a pragmatist point of view, drawing attention to our human practices of ethical evaluation and deliberation. It defends the essentially ungrounded and humanly fundamental place of ethics in our thought and action. Ethics must remain beyond justification and ubiquitous in our human form of life.
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  50. The Euthyphro, Divine Command Theory and Moral Realism.Gerald K. Harrison - 2014 - Philosophy (1):107-123.
    Divine command theories of metaethics are commonly rejected on the basis of the Euthyphro problem. In this paper, I argue that the Euthyphro can be raised for all forms of moral realism. I go on to argue that this does not matter as the Euthyphro is not really a problem after all. I then briefly outline some of the attractions of a divine command theory of metaethics. I suggest that given one of the major reasons for rejecting such an analysis (...)
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