Southwest Philosophy Review 29 (1):257-265 (2013)

Brian J. Collins
California Lutheran University
The standard moral realist response to the charge of “queerness” has been a type of companions in guilt defense. This response asserts that moral properties are no more queer than other abstract properties and since most people accept these other abstract properties into their ontology then they ought to also accept moral properties. Moral realists contend that moral properties face no special problem. In this paper, I argue that moral properties do face a unique problem – the moral realist1 is not able to ac- count for the resemblance between moral properties in ways that the meta- physical realist has accounted for it between non-moral abstract proper- ties. The moral realist shares similar theoretical motivations as the realist about universals (i.e. those who accept other non-moral abstract proper- ties), and they attempt to align themselves with the realist about universals when defending their view against the charge of queerness. To highlight the unique the problem of accounting for resemblance between universals which has been made explicit in the metaphysical debate concerning realism. I then apply this problem to the seemingly parallel metaethical position, moral realism. Lastly, I describe one prominent metaphysical response that has been offered and argue that the moral realist cannot consistently accept this response. Moral properties do face a unique problem when compared with other abstract properties – accounting for the resemblance between
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview201329127
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