Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):605-619 (2015)

Christopher Cowie
Cambridge University
Metaethicists typically develop and assess their theories—in part—on the basis of the consistency of those theories with “ordinary” first-order normative judgment. They are, in this sense, “methodologically conservative.” This article shows that this methodologically conservative approach obstructs a proper assessment of the debate between internalists and externalists. Specifically, it obstructs one of the most promising readings of internalism. This is a reading—owed to Bernard Williams—in which internalism is part of a practically and politically motivated revision of the assessment of action. The article uses this case study to highlight the role of methodological conservatism in contemporary metaethics more generally
Keywords Bernard Williams  revisionism  quasi‐realism  internalism  practical reasons
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12159
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Harvard University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

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