Philosophia:1-16 (forthcoming)

Patrick Clipsham
Winona State University
Companions in guilt arguments are widespread in defenses of moral realism and criticisms of error theory. Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that the companions in guilt argument fails because it makes untenable assumptions about the existence of categorical epistemic reasons. In this article, I develop an alternative version of the companions in guilt argument that does not succumb to this criticism, as it begins with the claim that there is a presumptive case in favor of attributing a belief in categorical norms of philosophical argumentation to proponents of the error theory. I then point to an instability in the error-theoretic position and explore the extent to which this instability poses a serious philosophical problem. While this argument has a narrower scope than the traditional companions in guilt arguments, I conclude that it nonetheless poses a significant challenge to any philosophical attempt to deny the categoricity of moral reasons.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-018-9986-5
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong.Fred Feldman & J. L. Mackie - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (1):134.

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Citations of this work BETA

What’s Left for the Companions in Guilt Argument?Patrick Clipsham - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):137-151.
The Limits of Self-Effacement: A Reply to Wittwer.Patrick Clipsham - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3617-3636.

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