Is there a supervenience problem for robust moral realism?

Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1391-1408 (2019)
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The paper describes the problem for robust moral realism of explaining the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral, and examines five objections to the argument: The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because we may owe different obligations to duplicates. If the supervenience thesis is repaired to block, it becomes trivial and easy to explain. Supervenience is a moral doctrine and should get an explanation from within normative ethics rather than metaethics. Supervenience is a conceptual truth and should be explained by the nature of our concepts rather than by a metaphysical theory. The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because moral principles are not metaphysically necessary. It concludes that none of these objections is successful, so Robust Realists do have an explanatory debt to worry about.



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James Dreier
Brown University

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

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The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Moral thinking: its levels, method, and point.R. M. Hare (ed.) - 1981 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.

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