Synthese 198 (5):4273-4294 (2019)

Authors
Sam Baron
Australian Catholic University
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Mark Colyvan
University of Sydney
1 more
Abstract
It has seemed, to many, that there is an important connection between the ways in which some theoretical posits explain our observations, and our reasons for being ontologically committed to those posits. One way to spell out this connection is in terms of what has become known as the explanatory criterion of ontological commitment. This is, roughly, the view that we ought to posit only those entities that are indispensable to our best explanations. Our primary aim is to argue that the moral nonnaturalist places herself in an invidious position if she simply accepts that the nonnatural moral facts that she posits are not explanatory. Instead, we offer the nonnaturalist an alternative strategy for dealing with moral explanations. The strategy is to retain the explanatory criterion of ontological commitment and maintain that moral properties are, in fact, explanatory. The explanations they provide are not causal explanations; instead, moral properties make a non-causal difference to the physical facts.
Keywords explanation  moral explanation  naturalism  non-naturalism  non-causal explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02341-3
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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